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Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Cherry Valley Fire Proves Hydrants Dont Work, Water Company Says They Arent Supposed To    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Video from the fire at 2411 Pinedrop Parkway Saturday night, revealed that the fire hydrants near the home don't work. Cherry Valley firefighters tried to get water from the two that were closest to the home, but no water came out. Utilities Services of Illinois owns the water system, and they say these hydrants are not fire hydrants. Steve Lubertozzi is the President of Utility Services of Illinois, and he said, “People have referring them to as fire hydrants, which they are not, they are flushing hydrants, and they are used periodically for the water system to perform maintenance on the system." And the president of Utility Services of Illinois says the fire department should have been aware of that. "They neither have the pressure or the capacity for fire flow, and the fire department was aware, or should have been aware that that was a private fire company, or excuse me a private water company and that they were flushing hydrants and not capable of providing fire flow,” said Lubertozzi. But Deputy Chief Doug Hayes says they did not know that. Hayes said, “I would say they need to make that clear to us, something, give us something in writing and indicate that those hydrants are out of service and not for fire-fighting purposes." Deputy Chief Hayes says they've even used them before. "We have used those hydrants in that neighborhood before for fire-fighting purposes,” said Hayes.

Hinsdale fire pension board seeks new investment consultant    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Hinsdale Firefighter Pension Board has selected a different investment firm. The board, which only meets four times a year, voted recently to hire Sawyer Falduto Asset Management LLC, a company that specializes in investments for the Illinois Police and Fire Pension Funds. The board is required by state law to seek requests for proposals every five years from potential investment firms. Two other firms also applied including Graystone Consulting, which is the board's current investment consultant. Thomas McCarthy, a retired firefighter and board member, said the board is opting to go with a different investment firm to try to maximize returns while protecting investments. "We want to maximize our returns while maintaining security," he said. Board president Doug Niemeyer, who is a current firefighter, added that the department wants to take advantage of the potential returns from the stock market that has been doing well in recent years. He said the pension fund's growth relies on contributions from employees, the Village of Hinsdale, and investment returns.
Chicago Tribune

Former Yates City firefighter sues over dismissal    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A former Yates City firefighter is suing the Elba Salem Fire Protection District for firing him back in July following a social media incident regarding a member of the Elmwood Fire Department. Steve Yates was dismissed this summer for posting comments on Facebook targeting an Elmwood firefighter. Frakes had been a whistleblower to an incident earlier regarding the Elmwood firefighter, whom Frakes said was showing up intoxicated on the job. In a lawsuit filed with the Federal District Court in Peoria, Yates is suing the Elba Salem Fire District for $500,000. He also has three separate counts against the three members of the district board for $500,000 each. The money would cover damages due to financial and reputation loss, as well as Frakes’ attorney fees. Frakes’ attorney James Springer of the Peoria-based Kavanagh, Scully, Sudow, White & Frederick PC firm, said the the fire protection board and the three trustees — Greg Wessel, Eugene Saunders and Gerald Buckman — have all been served by mail. Buckman declined to comment and Wessel and Saunders were unavailable. Springer said he cannot yet determine if the matter will be settled before it gets to court, since the suit is less than a week old. He said cases like this one are often settled out of court, either with an agreement between the parties or by dismissal. However, Springer said he was confident the case is strong enough to hold off dismissal.
Galesburg: Register-Mail

Hinsdale firefighter, lieutenant honor late deputy chief with lifesaving training classes    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Just more than four years after the Hinsdale Fire Department said goodbye to Mark “Big” Johnson, a department firefighter and lieutenant have joined together to find a way to keep his memory alive. In September 2010, Deputy Chief Johnson was found unresponsive in the basement of the firehouse after suffering a heart attack during mandatory workout hours, according to firefighter Steve Tullis. Tullis – one of the firefighters who found Johnson – said he has always looked back on that day and wished he and his fellow firefighters could have done something more. Teaming up with his lieutenant, Mike Neville, Tullis said the pair have found a way to ensure others are prepared for similar situations by beginning a business which offers CPR certification, as well as training on an automated external defibrillator and first aid training, called “Mark.” “It’s a very simple life skill that anyone can learn,” Tullis said of the programs. Tullis and Neville will offer two separate courses, each running between three and four hours, according to Tullis. One option for those interested in learning lifesaving techniques is the HeartSaver AED class, which is ideal for the “everyday person.” Through the American Heart Association, the class will offer CPR and AED certification or recertification. Participants in the class will learn to correctly administer CPR and to use a defibrillator, which are now common at many workplaces and schools. Defibrillators delivers a small electrical charge to the heart to restart the heart and are easy for most people to use.

Vernon Hills Fire Damages Three Homes    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Multiple people were displaced after a fire rendered three attached homes uninhabitable Monday morning in north suburban Vernon Hills. Crews were called to a fire in the 900 block of Jackson Court about 9:30 a.m., according to a statement from the Countryside Fire Protection District. When firefighters arrived, they found smoke coming from the attic on the east side of a two-story town home, the fire department said. The homeowner told them that a plumber had been using a torch in the second-floor bathroom wall. The fire spread from a second-floor common wall to the attic before it was extinguished, and two other units that shared the wall were affected, according to the fire department. While it was not immediately clear how many people were displaced, the fire department said all three units affected by the fire were uninhabitable. Multiple other fire departments assisted in battling the blaze, according to the statement. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although it started close to the spot where the plumber had been using a torch, fire officials said.
CBS Chicago

Monday, November 24, 2014
McHenry County blaze kills 32 horses: ’I don’t know what to do’   view comments tweat me share on facebook
VIDEO: Amber Bauman stood in disbelief Sunday morning watching firefighters walk through the smoking debris of her charred horse stable. She wept with her daughter for the loss of 32 horses that she said were incinerated Saturday night in an extra-alarm fire in unincorporated McHenry County. White horse trailers sat empty near the scorched wreckage at Valley View Acres horse stable at 5116 Mount Thabor Road near Woodstock. Bauman’s family owned some of the horses, and others were being boarded at the stable. “This is the first time in 35 years I don't own a horse. I don't know what to do anymore,” Bauman, 40, said. Among the horses that died were award-winning hunting and jumping horses as well as horses used for riding lessons. Bauman said the horses were of many breeds, including Dutch warmbloods, thoroughbreds, ponies of the Americas and Hanoverians. The fire started at 10:53 p.m. Saturday, according to a statement from Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department. Bauman said her family had attended an Illinois Hunter Jumper Association banquet Saturday night and her two sons had returned home early. One son awoke to an “awkward sound,” looked out the window of their home and saw the stable was on fire, Bauman said. “It’s every barn owner’s worst thing you can ever hear,” Bauman said.
Chicago Tribune

Fire consolidation study OKd by West Dundee and Carpentersville fire departments   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The years long discussion about consolidating fire services among three Fox Valley entities is poised to take a huge leap forward. The villages of West Dundee and Carpentersville have approved paying for a consolidation study to be performed by Oregon-based Emergency Services Consulting International, officials said. The East Dundee Fire Protection District -- whose officials did not respond to requests for comment -- is expected to consider that when its board of trustees meets Monday. "This is very historic. We've never gotten this far before," West Dundee Fire Chief Randy Freise said. "We requested proposals in the past, but we've never actually done a study." The study would cost $33,678, including an optional residents' input meeting, so each entity would pay for one-third, or $11,226, Freise said. The West Dundee village board gave the OK to the expense this week. Carpentersville Village Manager Mark Rooney also approved the expense, which doesn't need village board approval because it's less than $20,000, said Carpentersville Deputy Fire Chief John Skillman. The study would take four to six months to be completed, Freise said. The residents' meeting would take place toward the end of the process, he said. The study would look at a range of possibilities, including different levels of consolidation, Freise said. The goal is to improve service levels with an eye toward saving taxpayers' money, Freise and Skillman said. If consolidation is the way to go, it would take a few years to make that happen.
Illinois Daily Herald - metered site

Morris firefighter Ron Marx loses battle with cancer   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Morris firefighter Ron Marx lost his battle against cancer Sunday. In April, Marx learned he had small cell cancer and there was a mass on his liver and several other tumors. With treatment, he was expected to live another six months to two years. “The doctor told me he had one patient who lived five years with treatment,” Marx said in a previous Morris Daily Herald article in June. “So I said I’ll go six years.” Sunday morning Facebook posts from family and friends of Marx confirmed his death. Marx was an officer with the Morris Police Department for five years in the 1980s, and has been an active firefighter with Naperville Fire Department, Homer Township Fire Protection District and most recently with Morris Fire Protection & Ambulance District. In the most recent primary election, he and Ken Briley of Minooka ran for the Republican ticket for Grundy County Sheriff against Sheriff Kevin Callahan. Marx lost to Briley. He also ran against the late Sheriff Terry Marketti in 2010.
Morris Daily Herald

Springfield fire department captain arrested for wielding gun   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A Springfield Fire Department captain was arrested earlier this week after he allegedly carried a shotgun into a rural Athens home and threatened the residents, Menard County Sheriff Chuck Jones said. Timothy McEvoy, 52, was arrested at his Springfield home early Wednesday. Jones said McEvoy owns property in rural Athens and was involved in a dispute with neighbors over accusations of trespassing. McEvoy allegedly walked into the house uninvited about 6 p.m. Tuesday brandishing a shotgun. He reportedly made verbal threats, shoved a man to the ground and left, Jones said. Menard County sheriff’s deputies found McEvoy at his Springfield home. He was interviewed and arrested, Jones said. McEvoy was released from the Menard County Jail on Thursday after posting 10 percent of a $40,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m. Monday. Springfield Fire Chief Ken Fustin said McEvoy was scheduled for earned time off the rest of the week. When that time is used up, he will most likely be put on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation. City records indicate McEvoy has been with the fire department more than 23 years and earns about $90,000 annually.
Springfield State Journal-Register

Two Women Rescued From Chicago Building Collapse   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Two women and a dog were rescued from the rubble of a collapsed residential building Sunday night in the Washington Park neighborhood. Firefighters swarmed the property at 58th Street and Calumet Avenue around 7 p.m. after reports of an explosion, and they pulled two women from the flattened property. Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the women did not have any visible injuries when they were rescued. A 78-year-old woman who lived on the second floor was listed in critical condition when she was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, because of the possibility of internal injuries. However, she was alert and talking when she was pulled out of the rubble. A 51-year-old woman living on the third floor was in fair-to-serious condition when she was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center. Firefighters also rescued a dog named Tigger.
CBS Chicago

Fire Destroys Murphysboro Home   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Fire officials say a Murphysboro house is a total loss. A fire tore through the home early Saturday morning. Crews got to a home on North 16th Street around 1:20 a.m. Neighbors say the fire was so large that officials decided to evacuate surrounding houses. Homeowner Andre Johnson wasn't there at the time of the fire. He learned about it early Saturday morning. "You never think it's gonna happen to you, but... boom. here I am." said Johnson. Johsnon said the clothes on his back were all he had left. "Years of collecting things, and a lot of hard earned money was in that house," said Johnson. "I don't know what I'm gonna do." He didn't have insurance, but his neighbors have set up a Go Fund Me account to help him get back on his feet. You can find it here. The State Fire Marshall will begin an investigation on Monday.

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