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Friday, April 29, 2016
Piper City firefighters with 150 years of experience to retire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Piper City Fire Department will be holding an open house on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. to honor four volunteer firefighters, each with decades of experience, who are retiring. The firefighters are John Hoogstraat, Dale Reinagle, Jake Hitchens and Dave Carpenter, who together have given more than 150 years of service to the fire department. These men have served their community in various capacities in the department. Hoogstraat is a firefighter and first responder with 50 years of service to the Piper City Fire Department. He is, according to Fire Chief Tony Lane, "dedicated, always there to lend a hand. [He] has seen so much and probably some people will not learn as much." He has served the people of the fire district, which encompasses Piper City, Brenton Township and Pella Township for a total of 725 square miles, since 1966. Hitchens, who has 47 years of service, is a man who has worn many hats during his time with the department. He is a firefighter, first responder, EMS coordinator and a former fire chief. Lane said Hitchens is "always there to lend a helping hand ... very intelligent on the medical side of things. He was EMS coordinator. That is a very intense job." Reinagle, who served for 46 years, is a "master of figuring out mechanical issues" according to Lane. With 25 years of experience, Carpenter has served his community as a past assistant fire chief, firefighter, first responder and EMT-B. Carpenter started his career with the fire department in 1991. "Dave was always there," Lane said. "All four men sacrificed time, family and life to assure the safety of the community."
Kankakee Daily Journal

Union wants laid off Carpentersville firefighters back on job    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Carpentersville officials are hitting back at claims made by the firefighters union that the layoffs of two full-time firefighters by the village is "illegal." Members of the Carpentersville International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4790 had just begun contract negotiations on March 23 with village officials when they were notified of the layoffs, that took effect April 22, said Union president Lt. Rick Nieves in a press release. The union immediately filed a grievance, contending the layoffs were illegal under the terms of the current contract with the village, Nieves said. Both village and union officials met April 7 but were unable to come to a resolution. Union members are now asking an arbitrator to step in and restore the firefighters' jobs, with back pay, "as well as any other costs incurred due to the village's illegal actions," Nieves said.
Chicago Tribune - Metered Site

Follow Up: Municipalities, firefighters seek protection from lawsuits    view comments tweat me share on facebook
An Illinois Supreme Court ruling has united two groups that often are at odds when it comes to legislation pending at the Statehouse. The Illinois Municipal League and the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, the state’s largest firefighters union, are backing a bill they say would shield local governments and public safety employees from being sued over the way they prioritize services. “In these unusual times at the state Capitol, I think this is a good example where divergent interests can come together in support of something that really is common sense,” said Pat Devaney, president of the Associated Fire Fighters. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, would codify the “public duty rule” that the Supreme Court struck down in January. The longstanding rule held that units of government and their employees have a duty to protect the well-being of the community as a whole rather than that of individual people. The Supreme Court’s decision came in a case involving the 2008 death of Coretta Coleman in unincorporated Will County.
Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph

Fire truck, water meters on South Jacksonville trustees minds    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A new fire truck and a new water meter system highlighted discussions Thursday night during two South Jacksonville Village Board committee meetings. Public Protection Committee members talked about options for replacing the village’s 1985 Pierce fire truck. “We seriously need to look at updating our current fire truck,” Fire Chief David Hickox told the committee. “The one we have will be 31 years old. We have talked about this subject for the past four or five years, and with the increasing number of businesses coming to the village, I feel that we need to update our equipment.” Hickox presented some options and made some recommendations on how to purchase a new pumper truck, which he said could cost upward of $450,000. Committee members also discussed and will propose to the board of trustees that the village increase its peddlers’ and solicitors’ permit fee from the current $5 weekly fee to $25 for the first day and $10 for each additional day.
Jacksonville Journal-Courier

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Edwardsville home seriously damaged in fire   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A house in Edwardsville suffered significant damage and a resident was left without a home Wednesday. Edwardsville firefighters were called to 835 Holyoake Road on Wednesday afternoon when a neighbor noticed signs of fire. Edwardsville Fire Chief Rick Welle said the tenant of the rental home was not present at the time. The house suffered moderate fire and heavy smoke damage, Welle said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The house is not currently habitable without extensive repair, Welle said. The tenant, who was not named by authorities, lost most of his belongings in the fire. Edwardsville police closed Holyoake Road to through traffic for a short time Wednesday as firefighters attempted to contain the fire.
Belleville News-Democrat

Follow Up: Rejected Illinois law now allows residents to sue emergency services   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A wrongful death lawsuit is setting a new precedent for emergency agencies all over Illinois. A Joliet woman died after it took responders 40 minutes to get her care. Her family sued the dispatcher, medics, and the fire department. Do emergency services owe you a certain level of care? That's the question lawmakers are asking after the Illinois Supreme Court abolished the "public duty doctrine," which protected services like 911 dispatchers, police and fire from getting sued. "Because of the public duty doctrine, they do not owe a duty of care or responsibilty to any single individual," said Quincy attorney Jim Rapp Now that rule is out the window, and Rapp says it's a concern. "Now what will happen if the courts say there is a duty. Now what we have to do is examine how you responded, what did you do?"
WGEM-TV Quincy

Chicago Police Bomb and Arson investigators called to fire at Scottsdale elementary   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Chicago Police Bomb and Arson Unit is investigating a small fire at a Scottsdale neighborhood elementary school that was extinguished before classes started Wednesday morning on the Southwest Side. A custodian doing a routine building check smelled smoke and found the fire about 7:45 a.m. in the mobile unit of Stevenson Elementary School at 8010 S. Kostner Ave., according to Chicago Police and Chicago Public Schools spokesman Michael Passman.
Chicago Sun-Times

How the Chicago Fire Cast Made Me Realize I Should Never Be a Firefighter   view comments tweat me share on facebook
On Tuesday's episode of Chicago Fire, Casey (Jesse Spencer) revealed that he wanted to be a firefighter ever since he was a little boy. In my experience in just one day on the set of Chicago Fire, I learned that I should never, ever consider being a firefighter - or even playing one on TV. During my set visit, I thought it would be fun to walk a mile in the shoes of the Chicago Fire cast (so to speak) by trying on the same costume the members of 51 wear while they're battling blazes. With cast members Taylor Kinney and Monica Raymund on hand to offer assistance, we set out to get me suited up. The first thing I learned was that, in real life, you'd have about 15 seconds to get out of your civilian gear and into the uniform - a.k.a., stepping into large boots, pulling up heavy, fire-retardant pants via suspenders, and topping the whole thing off with a jacket and suspenders. And the clothes aren't all. Once all the clothing's on, now comes the fun part: the oxygen tank (which Christian Stolte tried to convince me was a soup dispenser). The whole shebang weighs 60 pounds, I was told, with the tank making up the bulk of that. So, the next time you see an actor casually sling an oxygen tank over their shoulder like it's an empty JanSport backpack? Basically, that should be its own Olympic event. My back is still recovering.
Rockford Register Star

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