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Friday, September 30, 2016

Funds to help Pembroke, Kankakee firefighters

A shortage of volunteers has overwhelmed the Pembroke Fire Protection District this year, as 12 people continually fight fires in the area. Fortunately, help is on the way. On Tuesday, the 12-man department learned it received $346,159 in federal funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. It was one of eight Illinois fire departments, including Kankakee, to received federal funding totaling $2.6 million. Pembroke received two separate grants. A SAFER grant will be used to certify volunteers and add 16 firefighters during the next four years. It also pays for stipends, turnout gear, insurance, health physicals and certificates for higher learning.
Kankakee Daily Journal

Macomb Mourns Death of Fire Chief

The body of Macomb Fire Chief Andy Taylor, 46, was found in a wooded area near Route 67 and University Drive late Thursday afternoon. A preliminary investigation indicates he took his own life. “We’ve lost a dedicated public servant,” said Mayor Mike Inman. “The Taylor family has lost a father, a husband, a brother, and a son.” A pedestrian called 911 after finding Taylor’s body near a path that connects the former movie theater parking lot to a residential area to the north. Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene. Inman said there is no indication why Taylor took his own life. Taylor was hired by the Macomb Fire Department in October, 1996. He was appointed chief in August, 2006. “Andy was the eternal professional, a young man who was dedicated to his job,” said Inman, who worked for Illinois State Police before becoming mayor. “I have good memories of working with Andy. I could always count on Andy. This is just a huge loss.”
WIUM-FM Tri States Public Radio

Hoopeston Fire Department welcomes three new members

The Hoopeston Fire Department recently added three new members to its ranks following a change to its age requirement guidelines. The department changed its age requirements to allow recruits from age 18-35 to join. Fire Chief Joel Bird said the change was made to bring the department more in line with the standards of other departments while also helping to bring in more younger recruits. "That's what we're hoping," he said. "That there will be more interest from younger people." Bird said the department currently has 16 active members. The move seems to have succeed as three new recruits have joined following the change. Maggie Bartley, Nathan Michael and Geno Wagoner all joined after the new requirements were adopted.
Attica Fountain County Neighbor

Oak Brook firefighters finally begin contract negotiations

The union representing Oak Brook firefighters had its first negotiations session for a new contract with representatives of the village Monday, nearly nine months after the previous deal expired. Union president Dave Kornfeind, an Oak Brook firefighter/paramedic, said firefighters presented proposals for a new contract, but wouldn't provide details. The next negotiations session is scheduled for Oct. 14. "We have agreed to not discuss specifics while negotiations are ongoing," Kornfeind said. "There are several economic and several non-economic issues we're negotiating." Fire Chief Barry Liss said the contract covers all sworn firefighter/paramedics and lieutenant/paramedics, totaling 28 people.
Chicago Tribune - Metered Site

Marion Fire Department gets new engines and donates another

Folks in Marion, and those who travel there, might feel a little safer knowing about a big improvement to public safety. Thanks to a grant, the Marion Fire Department managed to purchase two custom-made fire engines. But the deal also requires the town to donate an older truck. Over a year ago, Marion Fire Chief Jerry Odum began looking into purchasing a new engine. Marion bought its last trucks in 1999. Before that, the last trucks were purchased in 1982. "They take good care of them, keep maintenance up on them very well, so they do, they last us quite awhile," said Chief Odum. The fire department has four engines and two ladder trucks. Odum said Marion City Council budgeted for one new engine. But with grant money, he replaced one engine with two new ones. "They're nice looking trucks. They're a little larger, a little taller. We have more storage space on top," said Odum. The cost of one engine can break a city budget. Odum hoped for a truck that would meet the departments needs.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Augusta Fire Department starts rebuilding process

In the wake of the recent announcement that the Augusta Fire Department had been deactivated, efforts quickly began to bring the system back to life. On September 23rd, the Augusta Fire Board met to discuss options that lay ahead. They agreed to form committees to cover fire department rebuilding and the First Responder service. Initial reports did not look encouraging, with problems on two fronts complicating issues for the Augusta Fire Board. In addition to lacking qualified personnel, first reports indicated possible significant troubles with the department’s equipment. First reports came that only one of the department’s five operational vehicles would even start. Kurt Rhodes summoned the aid of Craig Hamrick, a retired Macomb firefighter who began his firefighting career with the Augusta department. “I’m not at all concerned about getting them (trucks) running,” Rhodes said. By Monday, Sept. 26, four of the five trucks were in operation, according to Rhodes.
Hancock County Journal-Pilot

Decatur Firefighters Battle Fire at Restaurant

Decatur firefighters responded to a fire at Del Carmen's Pizza at 22nd Street and Prairie Avenue Thursday morning. Crews were called to the building at 6:49 and arrived to find smoke coming from the first and second floors, officials said. Once inside, they found heavy fire on the first floor and extending to the second floor and roof. The building also housed three apartments, and firefighters said the occupants of those apartments made it out safely. They reported no injures. The fire's cause was not immediately clear, Fire Chief Jeff Abbott said. "The inspector's here. He's investigating to see what we can come up with," Abbott told reporters. "We believe it started on the first floor in a closet area, so we're going to narrow in our focus to that spot and then go from there." Abbott said the building suffered significant smoke and water damage as well as damage to the roof. The roof was a metal deck roof, which was difficult for firefighters to get through, he said.
WAND-TV NBC Channel 17

Godfrey Fire Protection District to ask for tax increase

The Godfrey Fire Protection District(GFPD) will ask for a five-cent property-tax increase in the November election to help with funding for the district. The GFPD has lost three full-time positions in an effort to cut costs, but they have found that costs are still outpacing their budget, a press release from the fire department said. The GFPD gets all of their funding from local property taxes, and gets less than five percent of the the current local property tax in the area. The referendum heading to the November ballot would raise the property tax by five cents, from $7.57 to $7.62. The press release said the increase would cost the owner of a $200,000 home less than $3 per month, and raise $160,000 in revenue.

3 semis catch fire in Alsip

PHOTOS: Three semis went up in flames in south suburban Alsip early Wednesday morning. Firefighters responded to a report of a truck fire near 123rd Street and Lombard Avenue around 4:45 a.m. When they arrived, they found three semis fully engulfed by flames. Power lines sparked as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. Investigators are working to figure out what caused the big rigs to catch fire.
WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago

La Salle wants to show off its 1928 fire truck

La Salle wants to place its 88-year-old antique fire truck in a new display building across from the fire station. The truck is already on public display behind large windows in the public works garage at Second and Wright streets. The city wants to build a better display building for the old engine on a city lot at the southwest corner of Fifth Street (U.S. 6) and Sterling Street, across from the fire station. To pay for this project, the city is raising money and in-kind donations. Monetary donations will be recognized on a plaque on the exterior. Donations can be sent with water bill payments or dropped off at City Hall, Second and Joliet streets.
News Tribune (North Central Illinois)

Sycamore Fire Department receives grant from Enbridge

The Sycamore Fire Department recently received a $1,000 grant from the Enbridge Safe Community Program for the purchase of self-contained breathing apparatus voice amplification equipment. The communications equipment will enhance firefighter safety and survival on the fire ground as well as increase the safety and capability when first responders serve as part of a required two-out group during interior structural firefighting or when they are designated as a Rapid Intervention Team on the active fire ground both in Sycamore and when called for mutual aid responses.
De Kalb Midweek

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