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Thursday, January 29, 2015
Distracted driving among topics raised at ’Chat with the Chiefs’ in Plainfield    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The first Plainfield “Chat with the Chiefs” event Wednesday night sparked several conversations about police, fire and emergency management operations, including distracted driving and emergency equipment and protocol. About 20 people, including representatives from several local governments and Mayor Michael Collins, came to the chat and also listened to updates from the first responder agencies. “I had no expectations on what the turnout would be,” said Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek, who hosted the chat at the Plainfield Law Enforcement Center. “I thought it was very good. I thought there was great interaction with the folks that were here and the emergency responders.” “I liked that they took time to tell us about the different organizations,” said resident Kelly McCann, who serves as a Plainfield community service officer but came to the chat as a resident. The chat featured representatives from the Plainfield Police Department, Plainfield and Oswego fire protection districts, WESCOM and the Plainfield Emergency Management Agency. The meetings are initiatives to give the public a forum to learn about new police, fire and emergency management initiatives and ask questions. The meetings also include safety messages and tips for preparedness and awareness. Among the topics asked by residents were enforcement of laws prohibiting cellphone use while driving, what residents should do in case of emergencies and emergency sirens.
Herald-News

Labor contracts remain unsettled for Quincy police, firefighter unions    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Labor agreements between the city of Quincy and bargaining units representing firefighters and police officers and sergeants have yet to be reached, and it appears at least one could be decided by arbitration. The Policemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Local 12 has filed for arbitration, and the hearing is scheduled for March 27, according to Mike Tyler, police union president. Mayor Kyle Moore said the city will continue to negotiate if requested by the union. The two sides met earlier this month. "It's possible if the city wanted to contact us and come up with a deal ahead of time, but as of right now, we're set for March 27 for a hearing before an arbitrator," Tyler said. Police officers and firefighters have been operating without a contract since the previous three-year deals expired April 30. Firefighters, represented by Firefighters Local 63, also have filed for arbitration, but continue to negotiate with the city. No arbitration hearing has been set in those negotiations. In November 2011, an arbitrator awarded firefighters a 2 percent raise in the first year, a 2.5 percent raise in the second year and a 3 percent raise in the third year. Police officers and sergeants approved the same deal in March 2012. "Typically, you'll have one public safety union wait for the other to wait to see what the arbitrator comes back with," Moore said. Moore said city officials appreciate the job of public safety officers, but municipalities across the state are seeing flat revenues.
Quincy Herald-Whig

Fire forces evacuation of senior living high rise in Galesburg    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A kitchen fire sent residents of a Galesburg senior living high rise out into the cold Wednesday afternoon. The fire started around 5:30 at Galesburg Towers, a six story senior living residence. When firefighters arrived heavy smoke was filling the first floor. Galesburg police officers evacuated a number of residents from the first floor to the Goodwill store next door. Firefighters soon arrived and attacked the fire in a first floor apartment. The fire was knocked down but crews had to push smoke from throughout the building. After about 2 1/2 hours residents were allowed back inside. No one was injured in the blaze. The fire is believed to have started in the area of a microwave in the apartment kitchen.
WHBF-TV Rock Island Eyewitness News 4

St. Joseph fire considered "suspicious"    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Tuesday was a busy night for Champaign County first responders. They're investigating a suspicious fire after spending hours dousing flames. No one was hurt, but the vacant home was destroyed. It's in the 2200-block of County Road 1300 North. Officials say they don't see many arsons around there, but they say this looks like one. The St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Chief says there wasn't any electricity running to the property and they didn't find any fuel or propane. Investigators spoke to the owner who said he didn't have anything inside which would have combusted by itself. After battling flames for a couple hours, they had to keep an eye on it for hot spots throughout the day. Investigators are trying to determine what caused a suspicious fire. The vacant home, in the 2200-block of County Road 1300 North, was destroyed overnight. Firefighters there have had a busy few days. The St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Protection District responded to more than 400 calls last year, so they're used to staying pretty active. But, this fire comes on the heels of an emotional day. They said goodbye to the former fire chief, Rusty Chism, at a ceremony Tuesday morning. Chism died last week. "They did the job," said current St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Chief Brian Buss. "They came out and did the job. They did just fine. We'd like to have an afternoon off, but we'll deal with it." Buss says he's proud of the way his crew took action. Chief Buss says his crews weren't moping around the fire scene. They went right back to business as usual.
WCIA & WCFN-TV CBS 3 Champaign

Lake Forest house fire results in $150K worth of damage    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Lake Forest officials are still investigating the cause of a house fire that resulted in about $150,000 worth of damage Tuesday night. Deputy Fire Chief Chris Garrison said there were no injuries and the residents had working smoke detectors inside their home, located at 1315 Telegraph Road across the street from Everett Elementary School. The residents called 911 at 4:17 p.m. after seeing smoke in the home, Garrison said. “The first engine on the scene reported heavy smoke and fire coming from a second floor bedroom. All the residents got out safely,” Garrison said. The first-arriving crew doused the fire from the front yard until the second crew arrived to assist, Garrison said. “The second crew made an interior attack and we were able to contain the fire,” he said. The home’s second floor bedroom was completely gutted and heavy smoke caused damage throughout the second floor, Garrison said.
Lake Forester


Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Matteson police, firefighter unions respond to layoff plan   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The police and firefighter unions in Matteson officially have responded to the village administration’s request to negotiate over recently announced plans to lay off half of the police force and a quarter of the firefighter-paramedics by Feb. 20. The unions’ contracts with the village give them the “ability for critical input,” village administrator Brian Mitchell said last week in citing Matteson’s $8 million budget deficit as the reason for the proposed layoffs. He said the village plans to save $1.5 million by laying off 13 police officers and $1.2 million by laying off eight firefighter-paramedics. Ray Violetto, the Metropolitan Alliance of Police representative for the Matteson officers, said the union responded to the village Friday, while Scott Gilliam, president of the Associated Firefighters of Matteson, said it responded Monday. Gilliam said the firefighters’ union wants more information about the village’s financial situation in advance of any meeting.
The SouthtownStar

Firefighters say backing truck into station can be dangerous on one Quincy street   view comments tweat me share on facebook
When Quincy firefighters return from emergency calls, they have to get back to the fire house and get ready for the next one. But some say backing the trucks into one particular station has become dangerous, and they want drivers to slow down and use caution. Firefighters who work at station 3 on 36th Street near State Street say they have to back the trucks in because of how the property is set up. Officials say some drivers become impatient when the trucks are briefly taking up two lanes and they speed through. They say it's become a problem and firefighters would like to find a solution. "What we have suggested is some kind of traffic control device that we could stop the traffic from here with some kind of signal on Maine Street and/or on State Street so we can have open lanes of traffic to back into," Quincy firefighter Jerry Smith said. Smith says in the meantime, he asks drivers slow down on 36th Street and stop if they see a truck backing in.
WGEM-TV Quincy

Chicago Ridge soon to staff second fire station   view comments tweat me share on facebook
For the first time in many years, the Lombard Avenue fire station in Chicago Ridge soon will be staffed with full-time firefighters and also will provide ambulance service, now that the village and fire union have agreed to hire several part-time firefighters. The agreement means the station, 10658 Lombard Ave., will be staffed at all times by two full-time firefighter/paramedics, staring in about three weeks, along with a yet to be determined number of part timers, who also must be certified as paramedics. Fire Chief George Sheets said using part-timers will enable the village to provide better fire and emergency medical services that it otherwise could not afford while also give the fire department more flexibility in handling multiple calls. Sheets said response times for calls east of Ridgeland Avenue will be shorter through the new staffing at the Lombard Avenue station, which for years has not been manned. “We’ll be able to handle multiple calls now,” he said. “Hiring two more (full-time) firefighters wouldn’t have done anything to open that station. We still wouldn’t have had enough personnel to do it right.”
The SouthtownStar

Firefighter Remembered in St. Joseph   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Rusty Chism was the kid that liked to hang around the local firehouse. He grew up to be chief. Tuesday, he took a final ride past that station. Chism, 50, died last week of a rare cancer. A long procession of fire trucks brought his casket from Urbana to St. Joseph. The truck carrying his casket briefly stopped in front of the station. Chism served as a division chief for the Urbana Fire Department. He was also a 30 year volunteer with the St. Joseph – Stanton Fire Protection District. The last 10 years he was chief. His friends remember him fondly as they recall Chism hanging around the firehouse as a youngster. “We'd raise the doors and we'd look at him and say here comes the Chism kid,” firefighter Howard Marsh said with a smile. “Let's get out of here so we don't have to talk to him. Chism grew up to be a respected member of the department and well liked. “All I can say about Rusty, he was a fine young man,” retired Urbana fireman Duke Goodwin told WAND News. “He was a very good guy. He was honest.” Rusty Chism left behind a wife and two children.
WAND-TV NBC Channel 17

Quincy crews fight fire above bar on Oak Street   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Quincy firefighters put out a fire in an apartment above Scooter's Bar, at 400 1/2 Oak Street Tuesday afternoon, Fire Chief Joe Henning said. Two people were home at the time, but made it out safely. The call came in around 4:30 p.m. and firefighters were able to get it under control within a half hour. "Crews arrived on scene and initially found smoke coming from the northeast corner of the building," Chief Joe Henning said. "All the residents around were saying there was smoke inside. We walked around and found fire spreading through the northeast corner of the building." The apartment wasn't badly damaged. Most of the damage was in the front of the building. "I'm going to assume there's going to be a little bit of water damage, but not much because the area where the fire is is the stairwell going up to the apartment, so it looks like most of that is going to be contained to that area," Henning said. The bar has been under renovations and someone working on it says he heard the popping and sparking and called the fire department. He told dispatchers the fire started in the electrical box, but fire crews are still investigating.
WGEM-TV Quincy

East Moline firefighters train for potential ice rescue   view comments tweat me share on facebook
This time of year you never know what the temperature's going to be. That's why firefighters are preparing in case of an emergency On Tuesday, East Moline Fire Department trained for a possible ice rescue at Butterworth pond. They do it every year to hone skills to perform in case of a cold water emergency. So some jumped in the icy waters of the pond in special suits to play the victim to be rescued. "We want to be prepared for victims but the only way we can really do that is put one of our own guys in a suit to try to practice with him. So they know what it feels like to be rescued. Not only are we allowing the guys to practice on a live person or anything else but so our guys appreciate what am i feeling like if I am the victim for when we pull them out and everything else,” SAID Curt Frerichs, East Moline Fire Department Battalion Chief. There has been one water rescue in East Moline this year. It happened back in December. Leading up to the live training, the fire department has had a couple weeks of classroom training.
WHBF-TV Rock Island Eyewitness News 4







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