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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Carpentersville, West Dundee fire departments closer to consolidation    view comments tweat me share on facebook
As talks continue on the possibility of Carpentersville and West Dundee consolidating fire services, local officials are eager to keep the momentum going. To that end, West Dundee board members authorized village staff Monday to develop a request for proposal to determine the cost of an in-depth study on consolidation. West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson said an outside entity can help officials “evaluate the prospect of the consolidation because it is a very complex issue.” “We feel this is a necessary step in making sure if we are to move forward [on the consolidation] it’s done in an appropriate way,” he said. The scope of the possible consolidation has also broadened, with both East Dundee Fire District and Rutland-Dundee Township Fire Protection Districts showing an interest. Efforts are underway currently to take steps toward a more functional consolidation, where the fire department districts would remain separate but work together more in responding to incidents and purchasing equipment. West Dundee Chief Randy Freise told village officials that Carpentersville has agreed to provide battalion chief coverage in West Dundee for all structure fires, vehicle accidents with extrication, and major incidents at Spring Hill Mall. Freise also plans to meet with East Dundee Fire Chief Steve Schmitendorf and Carpentersville Deputy Chief John Skillman to discuss the possibility of sharing a training officer. Nelson said having consistent training not only saves money but also makes sure firefighters are working together and operating as a team. He lauds Freise for his work in getting the issue to the table. “The chief has done an excellent job,” Nelson said. He said authorizing the RFP “is a very important step.”
The Courier News

Former Marengo restaurant "completely destroyed" after structure fire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
An overnight structure fire "completely destroyed" what was once the Shady Lane restaurant building, according to the Marengo Fire Chief. A report of a structure fire at 24803 W. Grant Highway came in around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Chief Bob Bradbury said. Upon arrival, he said the rear part of the long-shuttered and abandoned building was already collapsing. On scene for about three hours, the former dining area was destroyed by the time firefighters left at 4:30 a.m., according to Bradbury. The building's demise comes five years after it survived a 2009 fire that engulfed its neighbor, the former Shady Lane theater, according to a previous report by the Northwest Herald. "That fire [in 2009] destroyed the theater," Bradbury said, adding the two structures were about 50 feet apart. "This one destroyed the supper club building." Assistance came from the Woodstock Fire Rescue District, the Hampshire and Boone County Fire Protection Districts, among a few others. There were no injuries to report, and the fire is under investigation.
Northwest Herald

O’Fallon Volunteer Fire Department Promotions    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Mayor Gary L. Graham is pleased to announce that during the August 18, 2014 City Council Meeting, Captain Tim Claxton was promoted to Deputy Chief, Lieutenant Shawn Miller was promoted to Captain, and Firefighter Jon Williams was promoted to Lieutenant. “I congratulate each of these volunteers on their achievement and sincerely thank them for their dedication to our community. Their expertise and professionalism is one of the many reasons that O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live,” said Mayor Graham. Captain Tim Claxton has served with the O’Fallon Volunteer Fire Department for 16 years. During that time he has held the positions of firefighter and Lieutenant. Capt. Claxton serves as the lead on computer and radio technology in addition to his firefighting duties. Lieutenant Shawn Miller joined the department 16 years ago. Since then, he has held the position of firefighter. Lt. Miller has primarily been involved with fire pre-incident planning and information technology, in addition to his firefighting duties. Firefighter Jon Williams has served with the department for over 13 years as a firefighter.
O Fallon, Illinois

Rockford Fire Department responds to early morning fire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Rockford Fire Department responded to a house fire early this morning at 1718 Sandy Hollow Road. Responding officials found the second story of the house fully involved with fire and some fire on the first floor. A neighbor says the house is vacant. The fire was extinguished but the home was severely damaged. The estimated loss stands at $75,000. Three engines, one ambulance and 21 firefighters responded to the incident. It took six minutes for emergency officials to arrive at the scene.
WREX-TV NBC 13 Rockford

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Des Plaines alderman wants to change firefighter hiring rules   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Des Plaines Ald. James Brookman, 5th, would like the Des Plaines Fire Department to ditch a requirement that mandates prospective firefighter candidates have a paramedic license to qualify for the job. The Des Plaines City Council recently approved an amendment that allows the city's board of fire and police commissioners to set a minimum passing score for firefighter applicants on the department's written exam. Brookman, a former firefighter, used the consent agenda item as an opportunity to air his grievances with a city rule that says only applicants currently licensed with the Illinois Department of Public Health as a paramedic or those who hold a current certificate from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians as a paramedic may take the exam. Brookman argued that the department, with the current rule in place, was limiting its pool of applicants to "an extremely small percentage of all people." "We should hire the best people we can find and then train them," he said.
Chicago Tribune

Woman helps mom, 2-year-old escape house fire in North Chicago   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A 65-year-old North Chicago woman helped her mother and a 2-year-old get out of a burning house Monday afternoon without injury. “We blessed,” said Aline Williams, sitting outside under a neighbor’s shade tree while firefighters rolled up hoses and finished cleanup at her home at 1433 Victoria Avenue. “I looked up and saw the ceiling on fire,” she said. “I was in a hurry trying to get out of the house.” Williams grabbed her great granddaughter, Robin Lewis with one hand and then grabbed her mother, Dora Greenwood, who cannot speak or hear, with the other. She led them both to safety as Greenwood’s dog, Lady, followed them out of the house. North Chicago Fire Chief Dell Urban said the fire started in a in attic space that was converted into a bedroom.
Chicago Sun-Times

Opinion: Chicago Mayor’s CPS preference plan in firefighter hiring a "stunt"   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The City of Chicago is gearing up to enforce its Chicago Public Schools preference policy, which would give CPS graduates preferential standing among other firefighter applicants, providing an unfair advantage above students enrolled in private or religious schools. While Mayor Rahm Emanuel apparently seeks to encourage more opportunity for CPS high school graduates to serve in the Chicago Fire Department, it seems like a shortsighted approach to creating educational stability and opportunities for Chicago’s youth. With dwindling poll numbers as it relates to his education policies, it appears the mayor yet again has not given much thought towards how to empower Chicago’s youth. I suggest a real and meaningful incentive plan that goes beyond the mayor’s proposal. Instead of offering CPS high school graduates special treatment, the mayor should work toward giving students the educational resources they need to become successful firefighters. CPS should turn the current Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy after-school program into an in-school Career and Technical Education program of study.
Chicago Sun-Times

Geneva firefighters union to present veteran with new truck   view comments tweat me share on facebook
U.S. Army Specialist Joshua Kerber will be the first recipient of the Associated Firefighters of Illinois Geneva Local 4287 gift of a car. Kerber, 26, of West Chicago, who lost his left arm in Afghanistan in 2009, told the Geneva City Council some of his story Monday. “I joined the Army in 2008,” Kerber said. “I looked around at my job prospects and realized that I needed an education and I couldn’t afford one. And the Army had always been something on the back burner. I had family that served; it seemed like a good thing.” Kerber lost his arm during a security operation “a night like any other night” when his convoy was ambushed. He was the gunner on the lead vehicle that was hit by rocket propelled grenades. “I went down. I stood up and began to attempt to return fire,” Kerber said. “The second [hit] – there was no getting back up after that one. I have shrapnel throughout my body. This [right] arm is hurt, too, but luckily there’s no nerve damage .... The left arm – don’t feel bad for it, it was useless anyway.” Kerber, flanked by Geneva firefighters and union members Kevin Swanson, Rod Johnson and Dave Lentz, each wearing a sample black T-shirt that supports their fundraising effort.

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