Cherry Valley Fire Chief Craig Wilt is calling it a career after 44 years with the department. The 62-year-old has lived in Cherry Valley his whole life, serving not only half a century as a firefighter with the village but also a quarter century as a village police officer.
Thursday, Chief Wilt got to celebrate with the community at a retirement open house at the Cherry Valley Fire Station.
“I don’t know if it’s really sunk in yet. Still trying to learn how to relax. I’m still wound a little tight. Still get up around 5 o’clock every morning and I expect in due time that will start keying down a bit,” says Wilt.
Wilt followed in the footsteps of his father who served as a volunteer firefighter for 48 years. He tells us the biggest event of his career was the 2009 Canadian National Train Derailment and chemical fire.
WIFR-TV CBS 23 Rockford
Two people were hurt, including a Chicago police sergeant, and 23 people were displaced after a fire in Gresham early Friday, authorities said.
The fire broke out in the 7900 block of South Justine Street about 2:10 a.m., a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said.
One person was taken to Holy Cross Hospital in fair-to-serious condition. The sergent was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn for smoke inhalation; his condition was not immediately available.
In addition, 23 people were displaced from the building due to damage from the fire. Several of those affected were small children, according to neighbors. Lavette Mosely was waiting on a nearby bench with two of her neighbors after the fire, waiting to see who could get back in and when.
The blaze started on the second floor, she said. Her daughter woke her up and told her the building was on fire. She didn't see much other than smoke and flames, she said.
"It was scary, all that fire," said her neighbor, Dorothy Powers.
Powers' unit didn't sustain much damage, but Mosely was told she and her children likely would have to find someplace else to stay for a while.
But she was determined that she wouldn't be out for long.
"I'm going back in my place," she said.
chicago tribune - metered site
OSF Saint Anthony is teaming up with the Rockford Fire Department to reinvent the "house call."
It's called Mobile Integrated Care. They plan to to start visiting sick patients, who are frequent visitors to the ER, at their homes.
"We can tell them what [behavior] to change all we want in the hospital, but unless we can help them, and encourage them, and reduce some of these barriers, they're not going to be able to make the changes [they need] and they might plunk themselves right back into the hospital," said OSF's Emergency Medical Services' Director, Jane Pearson.
The program will start with 10 to 15 patients at a time. They're focusing on the chronically ill, frail, elderly, or mobility-impaired.
"Perhaps they're in the hospital with an acute illness but they have chronic medical problems," said Pearson. "When they're released home, they're not always quite ready to assume all their daily care."
Fire Chief Derek Bergsten hopes the initiative will reduce 911 calls, which cost the City about $21,000 last year.
"I think it's going to prove a benefit to their overall health and decrease admissions ... to the hospital," said Bergsten.
A Rockford Fire Department paramedic or EMT, along with Pearson, will work hands-on to help the patients, from their diets to connecting them with social services.
Plans to relocate or build one or two new Quincy fire stations could be moving forward with a "request for qualifications" posted on the city's website.
The notice seeks proposals for "consulting architectural services for the selection of land, building design and the construction of up to two" new Quincy fire stations. Firms are being asked to send their qualifications to the city's Purchasing Department by 4 p.m. July 28.
"This is a baby step," Mayor Kyle Moore said. "We're going to be looking at sites and different scenarios."
Moore, Fire Chief Joe Henning and several members of the Quincy City Council have discussed the need to tweak the city's fire station coverage. Some areas of Quincy have slower response times by fire crews because the population has grown and housing and business development has shifted, notably on the east side of town.
The last time the city built a fire station was in 1975, when Fire Station 3 opened at 334 S. 36th.
"That was the far edge of town back then. In the last 40 years, you can see how far we've grown to the east," Moore said.
The reopening of Fire Station 6 at 24th and Cedar has led to discussions about the optimum location for fire stations.
Henning put together a rough estimate two years ago that it would cost $1.2 million to build a fire station. That was based on a 6,000-square-foot floor plan with construction costs of about $200 per square foot. Architects and engineers were not brought into the planning process then because there was no assurance that the city was ready to build.
Springfield firefighters had a busy afternoon Thursday when two fires broke out within a half-hour of each other.
One fire damaged the exterior of the Burger King restaurant at 2901 South Grand Ave. E., while the second damaged a duplex at Skyview and Amherst drives, which is just west of Veterans Parkway and Jefferson Street.
The fire at the Burger King burned the siding on the west side of the building near the door.
Acting battalion chief Bill Beaty said the fire was contained to the exterior of the building. Some smoke got into the restaurant through an electrical conduit, but firefighters were able to air out the building. Food service had to be temporarily suspended, however.
Beaty said fire investigators were called in because no reasonable explanation for the blaze could be found.
The Burger King fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. At 4:01 p.m., emergency dispatchers started getting calls about the duplex fire on the far west side of town.
Deputy division chief Jeph Bassett said the first firefighters to arrive saw black smoke coming from the attic of the duplex. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.
Springfield State Journal-Register
A fire Thursday afternoon at Courtyard Estates left several residents displaced and caused an estimated $120,000 in damage.
Just before 3:30 p.m., Peoria police and firefighters were notified of a fire at Courtyard Estates of Peoria, a senior living community at 117 N. Western Ave. that is best known as the former Jumer's Castle Lodge, which closed in 2009. First responders located and extinguished a fire inside an apartment on the fourth floor after receiving reports of what sounded like an explosion accompanied by heavy black smoke on the fourth floor.
Residents on the third and fourth floors were quickly evacuated.
The sprinkler system inside the apartment, activated by the smoke, caused substantial water damage to the third and fourth floors, according to a news release from the Fire Department.
Furniture was moved and tarps set up in an attempt to reduce water damage. Firefighters also used water vacuums to remove standing water.
The 37 responding firefighters had the scene cleared by 4:46 p.m.
No injuries were reported, but Battalion Chief Aldo Scott said several residents were displaced from their rooms and temporarily relocated to other housing within the building.
Peoria Journal Star