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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Rev. Klima, longtime Shorewood police and fire chaplain, dies unexpectedly    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Rev. George Klima died unexpectedly early Tuesday morning. He was 71. Since 1981, Klima had been the pastor at Hope Lutheran Church, 308 W. Black Road, Shorewood. He is the first – and so far, only – pastor to lead that congregation, said Shorewood Police Chief Aaron Klima, one of his sons. He also was the chaplain for the Shorewood Police and Troy Township Fire Protection District. Fire departments. “He passed in his sleep peacefully at home,” the chief said. “He’d had some health concerns over the past few months.” Nadine Klima, his wife, his six children and 17 grandchildren, survive him. Although he had not been completely well, the pastor had been active lately. “He was out doing his normal routine,” the chief said. “He preached last Sunday.” At the Shorewood Village Board meeting on Tuesday night, Mayor Rick Chapman talked about his longtime friend and ended his comments with a poignant farewell. “Goodnight, George, wherever you are,” Chapman said.
Bugle Newspapers

Yates City Board won’t divulge firefighter’s fate    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Yates City Fire Department Board of Trustees met in special session Tuesday night to decide the fate of firefighter Steve Frakes’ career with the volunteer squad. However, the board would not say whether or not he was dismissed. Instead the board said it will send a letter to Frakes, the Yates City Fire Department and the Elmwood Fire Department that will contain the board’s decision. According to a statement by Chief John McKinty, someone had put a post on Frakes’ Facebook page that was upsetting to an Elmwood firefighter. “I was notified by an Elmwood fire department member that was opposed to what one of our members had posted on this member’s Facebook account that was determined to be derogatory,” McKinty said. He said discussions following the incident with the Elmwood chief determined that Frakes was no longer welcome at the other department. “Steve has demonstrated this type of behavior before,” McKinty said. “I was informed by local law enforcement that derogatory comments were being made at the Knox County shooting range about lack of participation on fire calls and derogatory comments on the leadership of this department.”
Galesburg: Register-Mail

Carbondale firefighters move into new station    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Fire trucks and firefighters were spotted moving into the new firehouse on Glenview Drive over the weekend. Carbondale City Manager Kevin Baity said the city decided it was time to move the firefighters and equipment into the new facility. “We just decided we are far enough with construction and we went ahead and moved in over the weekend,” he said. Although the firefighters have begun to move into the new facility, the accessibility issues with the Illinois Attorney General’s office are not completely resolved. The attorney general’s office cited 30 different violations after its inspection on April 8, 2014. Most violations concerned changes required in the bathrooms, such as grab bars in showers, grab bars around toilets and lowering items for better accessibility. The attorney general’s office sent the city a letter saying it had 30 days from May 28 to prepare and submit a written proposal to the attorney general’s office for how to fix the citations. Baity said city staff and FGM Architects, the architectural firm on the project, have been working on sending revised plans to the attorney general’s office. He said the letter should be sent to their office this week.

Firefighters take training to Carman Hall heights in Charleston    view comments tweat me share on facebook
All was quiet at Carman Hall. All, that is, except for the roof. As they looked out over the Eastern Illinois University campus and the forest just south, several men began to tie their equipment to the building's air conditioning unit. Charleston firefighter Matt Bower climbed to the top from the inside but would be heading back down the 10-floor a different way. Bower was about to go over the edge, and not for the first time, either. "You start trusting the guys you're with and the equipment," Bower said. Helm was one of several firefighters who rappelled down Carman Hall on Tuesday. It was the first day of the firefighters' vertical rescue training, set to run through Thursday. Assistant Fire Chief Steve Bennett said even though there are no certifications or requirements as far as vertical training goes, the crew practices once a year. In the past firefighters have used the EIU water tower as a training ground, he said. Bennett said the firefighters have had to put the training to use before -- once they were deployed to Vandalia to rescue a worker from a tower. In order to be secure while rappelling, responders must first make sure they have some slack on the rope before descent. If not, the knot firefighters tie in the rope can get caught on the edge, he said. As the firefighters head over the edge, they begin to increase the rope's tautness.
Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Follow Up: Orland drug-prevention program causes stir among community leaders   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A heroin and substance-abuse prevention program presented by the Orland Fire Protection District has sparked a public spat between fire district officials and Orland Park's mayor, police chief and local school district leaders. Fire officials said the July 15 event at the district's administrative building was a straight-talk session designed to get kids and parents talking about alcohol and drug abuse, particularly heroin. Battalion Chief Michael Schofield, one of the organizers, said the presentation was "not sugarcoated." But Orland Park's mayor and police chief said comments during the presentation falsely portrayed police and school districts as unresponsive to a growing heroin problem that Schofield, called "a terrorist attack on our children." "I think it painted a very misleading picture of what the village, police and our schools are doing," Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin said. "Every day, parents throughout this community ask themselves, 'Are my kids going to be safe?' 'Will they fall victim to drug or alcohol abuse?' That's horrifying enough without it being fueled with inaccurate and misleading information provided by fire district officials," Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy said in a statement issued by the village early Friday evening.
Chicago Tribune

Freeport City Council approves financing for new firetruck   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A new firetruck will be protecting the city in 2015. The Freeport City Council approved a financing plan for as much as $540,000 Monday to purchase the engine for the Freeport Fire Department. The loan would be paid off by 2020. The cost of the truck would be covered by local sources in the fire improvement fund through ambulance call billing. “It’s a really good purchase for the city,” said Freeport Fire Chief Scott Miller. “It’s a good piece of equipment that is intended and designed to last us quite a long time.” Durability will be key for the new vehicle. Miller said the custom-made pumper will be housed at the Adams Avenue station and primarily service the east side of town, allowing for a reconfiguration of the fleet. A 7-year-old engine currently at the Adams Avenue station will be moved to the central station and split duties with a ladder truck. Miller said the old engine has nearly 50,000 miles on it and is starting to show wear. “By utilizing both of those pieces of equipment and dividing the calls that they go on, it will extend the life of both of those vehicles,” Miller said. The new vehicle’s lifespan as a primary engine is estimated at 15 years. Miller anticipates receiving the vehicle in the spring of next year. Following an ambulance upgrade scheduled for 2015, Miller said Freeport’s fleet will hopefully be in good standing for the long term.
Freeport Journal-Standard

Crews recover teen’s body from Third Lake, near Grayslake   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Crews recovered the body of a teenager Monday night who had been swimming in far north suburban Third Lake, near Grayslake. The victim's name has not been released, but a family friend said he's 16 years old. The waters here at the time of the drowning were calm, but officials say it appears the teen was not wearing a life vest. "It's very shocking, very surreal. It's a good bunch of kids just hanging around and having fun, and then a tragedy happens," said Mario Villanueva, Third Lake resident. Emergency responders descended upon the serene waters of Third Lake shortly after 4:00 p.m. Monday after getting a call about a missing teenage boy who'd been on a boat with several others on the lake. "We were informed that there was one individual missing. He was struggling while he was swimming, went down and never resurfaced," said Chief John Christian, Grayslake Fire Protection Dist. "I can't even imagine what his family is going through, and I also think about the other kids that were with him and the guilt and the sadness they're all going to go through," said Jeanne Hendrickson, Third Lake resident.
WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago

Fire closes Illinois state building in Springfield   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Illinois Secretary of State's office has closed its Howlett Building in Springfield for the day because of a small fire. Secretary of State spokesman Dave Druker says the fire happened about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday in a mechanical room at the building, which is part of the Illinois State Capitol complex. He says firefighters quickly put out the blaze but the air conditioning in the building isn't working and crews need to work on mechanical issues. Druker says the agency hopes to reopen the office building on Wednesday. The building serves between 750 and 1,000 employees and members of the public. Among the services, motorists can purchase license plates and vehicle stickers there.
Quincy Herald-Whig

Fire chiefs drub mayors in 2nd Battle of the burbs softball game in Crestwood   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta thought it would be great for his community to see elected officials and public servants working together for a great cause. Softball and charity were the two things he used to make this possible. “I thought it would be kind of fun to get the mayors together and play with fire chiefs,” Presta said. “We’re trying to work with all of the towns. It’s good publicity.” The second annual “Battle in the Burbs” took place in Crestwood’s Standard Bank Stadium on Sunday night. The Battle in the Burbs is a seven-inning softball game that pits south suburban police and fire chiefs — Team Gunsmoke — against a team of Southland mayors and members of various departments, the Big Hitters. Gunsmoke bested the Big Hitters, 19-8. Lynwood Police detective Larry Weinbrecht participated in last year’s game. “Obviously, this is for a great cause,” Weinbrecht said. “To play against the mayors is a lot of fun.” Weinbrecht also said that the police and fire team wants bragging rights.
The SouthtownStar

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