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Friday, December 19, 2014
Four fire departments get state grants for equipment    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Four area fire departments got an early Christmas present thanks to state grants for new equipment. Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis announced a $945,845 investment to help 50 departments across the state -- including $25,621 to Carthage Fire Department, $26,000 to Spring Creek Fire Protection District, $2,750 to Griggsville Fire Department and $83 to Central Adams Fire Protection District. Assistant Chief Gary Smith said the Carthage Fire Department will buy a Jaws of Life. "We've got a set, but some pieces of it are 25 to 30 years old," he said. "With (Ill.) 336 and added traffic, we were hoping to upgrade what we have. This will allow us to." Smith said the letter about the grant said it could take up to 120 days to get the check from the state. "As soon as we get that, we'll get the purchase," Smith said. "So by spring, we should be set to go." Spring Creek plans to upgrade airpacks. "We had a couple we tried to do some routine maintenance on, and they were not good enough to even keep in service with repairs," said Andy Borrowman, a trustee for the fire protection district in Pike County. "That kind of stuff needs to be upgraded every few years anyway to make sure our firemen are safe."
Quincy Herald-Whig

Freeport Fire Department adds third ambulance to its fleet    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Freeport Fire Department has added a third ambulance to its fleet. The city purchased the 2014 Horton Ambulance for $186,500 from Foster Coach in Sterling. It replaces a 2003 vehicle that had been in service for 11 years. The older ambulance is being used as a reserve in the event that either of the city’s two primary ambulances require maintenance or repair. The city deferred the ambulance purchase for two years due to lack of funding. Money for the new vehicle comes from the city’s Fire Improvement Capital Fund, which is funded by patient transports and ambulance fees. Freeport firefighters responded to 1,181 fire alarms and 3,722 emergency medical calls in 2013 — an 8 percent increase in call volume from 2012.
Freeport Journal-Standard

Fire commander spots blaze in Champaign    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Fire officials say the cause of an early-morning apartment fire in downtown Champaign was accidental. Champaign Fire Marshal John Koller said the electrical fire at 77 E. University Ave. was contained to a 2- by 2-foot square area in the ceiling of the apartment above Byers Vacuum Cleaners. A Champaign fire shift commander is being credited with spotting the fire early Thursday, which led to a quick response by firefighters. Acting Deputy Chief Dave Ferber said crews were called to the building shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday. Ferber said the commander was in the area, smelled smoke and was able to locate the blaze, which was contained to space above the ceiling of the living room in the apartment. Two people were home at the time and were awakened by a ceiling fan falling to the floor. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Damage was estimated at $10,000.
Champaign News-Gazette

Sycamore fire engine restoration reaches milestone    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Restoration of the first fire engine owned by the Sycamore Fire Department entered a new stage Thursday. Members of the Sycamore Fire Preservation Co. Ltd., a group working to restore the 1923 Stutz fire engine, had the vehicle loaded onto a flatbed tow truck from Lovitz Towing in DeKalb. The truck took the vehicle to Marty & Sons Body Shop in Sycamore, where it will be restored to parade-ready condition over the next several months, Sycamore Assistant Fire Chief Marc Doty said. “It’s a significant milestone for the community, not so much just the group or the fire department,” Doty said. “We got that engine here in [2001], and it’s almost 15 years later and it’s actually made it to the body shop to see this come to life.” The Sycamore Fire Preservation Co. launched a fundraising campaign last spring to restore the engine, which was used first in November 1923 in response to a chimney fire. Restoration of the engine is expected to take nine months to a year, Doty said, as the body is restored and made ready for a fresh coat of paint, and the engine is restored to running order. Although Doty said they have almost met their initial fundraising goal of $25,000, more donations are needed to build the engine a permanent home, Doty said.
DeKalb Daily Chronicle

Springfield: Stove fire damages home on East Black Avenue    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A kitchen fire caused about $25,000 worth of damage to a house at 2832 E. Black Ave. Thursday. Firefighters were called to the single-story ranch about noon. Two people, an adult and a teen, were in the house when the fire broke out and were able to exit the house safely. The fire appeared to have started on a stove and spread to nearby cabinets and drywall. The fire was starting to get into the attic of the home, but firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread. Two adults and five children, ages 8 months to 16 years old, lived at the house. Volunteers from the American Red Cross were assisting the family Thursday. The American Red Cross of Central and Southern Illinois Region has responded to 16 residential fires since Dec. 12.
Springfield State Journal-Register

Thursday, December 18, 2014
Rockford Teen Rescued from Burning Home   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Firefighters rescued a 14-year-old boy from the basement of a burning home Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters arrived at the home at 1214 22nd Avenue to find heavy fire coming from the rear of the home. Neighbors told firefighters that they feared that children might be in the home, so firefighters began a search while others attacked the blaze. While searching the basement, Engine 11's crew found a 14 year old boy who was unable to escape because of heavy smoke on the first floor. An additional crew was sent to the basement with a breathing mask for him, and he was then taken through the heavy smoke on the first floor and out of the building to a waiting ambulance. His injuries are not life threatening, and there were no other injuries.

Sorensen Named Park Ridge Fire Chief   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Three months after taking over as acting fire chief in Park Ridge, Jeffrey Sorensen learned Wednesday (Dec. 17) that he’s been permanently promoted. City Manager Shawn Hamilton made the announcement at the Park Ridge City Hall Christmas lunch in the City Council chambers. “Six thousand, four hundred and twenty days ago, Jeff Sorensen joined the city,” Hamilton said. “He’s been filling the acting chief role very well. The fire department office is outside my door, and I could see the passion and the desire he brings to the job,” Hamilton said, adding his appreciation for Sorensen’s efforts with the department. Sorensen’s wife, Eileen, invited to see him presented with “an award,” was introduced as his new title was announced. “I couldn’t be happier than with the fire department,” Sorensen responded as he said thanks to everyone. “I certainly did not expect the job,” he told the Journal on Wednesday, adding, “This town’s done a lot for me.” The Sorensens have been residents for the past 14 years. Their family also includes their son, Jeffrey, a student at Mary, Seat of Wisdom School. Chief Sorensen joined the department as a firefighter/paramedic on May 20, 1997, was promoted to lieutenant in 2008 and to deputy chief in 2008.
Journal & Topics Newspapers Online

House fire in Urbana; No cause determined   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Urbana firefighters do not think they will be able to determine the cause of a fire that heavily damaged a home in the southeast part of the city Wednesday afternoon. "There were a lot of items in the house," said Division Chief Kyle Hensch. "That will make it difficult to determine the actual cause of the fire." Firefighters were called to a ranch house at 1109 Silver St. at 1:50 p.m. by a passer-by who noticed smoke coming from the ranch house. They found the 74-year-old owner occupant, unharmed, in the yard. She subsequently went to a neighbor's to keep warm and was getting help from the Emergency Support Services team. Hensch declined to release her name. Firefighters had the fire under control within minutes but stayed there about two hours combing through the debris. Hensch said the fire apparently started behind a bedroom door. It extended into two bedrooms and a hallway, he said. The owner was unable to shed any light on what might have caused it, he said.
Champaign News-Gazette

Firefighters seek funds to equip Lee County squad cars   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Lee County fire departments hope to make their county a little safer by raising funds to equip each sheriff’s department squad car with a defibrillator. More defibrillators out in the county means more lives saved, rationalized Amboy Fire Chief Jeff Bryant, who’s spearheading the effort. At a meeting Dec. 2, Bryant challenged all 10 fire departments in the county to raise $3,500 each, which would buy two defibrillators. “We’re going to buy them as we go,” Bryant said. “Just to get them out on the road as soon as possible. There are a lot of things going on in each community, but this is a great way to help out. It’s really going to make a big difference for what we do, especially as far as improving the patient outcome.” The fire departments, in addition to Bryant’s, are Dixon City, Dixon Rural, Franklin Grove, Ashton, Paw Paw, Compton, West Brooklyn, Harmon, and Sublette. The idea is that deputies patrolling in their squad cars are likely be somewhere nearby if someone has a cardiac problem, providing a 24-hour lifesaving service.

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