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Friday, February 12, 2016
Firefighter hurt while battling Elgin house fire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
One firefighter was injured while battling a house fire Thursday night in northwest suburban Elgin. Crews were called to the house in the 200 block of Mill Street in Elgin at 7:28 p.m. with reports that smoke detectors were going off and smoke was coming out of the building, according to a statement from the Elgin Fire Department. The fire appeared to have started in a kitchen trash can and extended into the wall and ceiling, the fire department said. The residents were not home when crews arrived. One firefighter fell because of icy conditions while fighting the fire and was taken to a hospital to be treated, officials said. There were no civilian injuries. The fire caused an estimated $11,000 in damage to the house, the fire department said. The cause remains under investigation.
Chicago Sun-Times

Rockford Fire Department says 911 calls are up more than 20,000 calls from 2014    view comments tweat me share on facebook
In a span of one year, 911 calls in Rockford went up by more than 22,000 calls, according to the Rockford Fire Department. 13 News sat in on the Rockstat meeting Thursday, February 11, where the Rockford Fire Chief spoke about last year's big jump and what he thinks caused it at today's Rockstat meeting. More than 137,000 people called 911 last year in Rockford. That's 22,000 more than 2014. Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten isn't 100% sure why. Bergsten says, "We have not been able to attribute that high increase of calls." What he is sure about, is that there were more calls in 2015 for lift assistance, which is when someone needs help being picked up. Last year those calls went up by 200 from 2014 to 2015. "A lot of those are in commercial facilities when we talked to the management they instruct their staff to not lift that patient and to call 911 to come out," Bergsten continues, "and our issue is that is deferring that liability to our firefighters." That liability, he says, is that his 3 to 4 firefighters answering the call could be responsible if that patient gets hurt, not the workers at the facility. Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey states, "Generally these are hundreds of calls every year that take personnel off of other calls so it's an area I need to work on." This Rockstat meeting Bergsten decided to do something different. He played dispatcher recordings from last February in 2016. In less than six hours firefighters delt with four tough calls. Three people within those four calls. The recordings included dispatchers saying, "Whitman street bridge car in the river," "2nd Avenue and 4th street house fire," and "County is on scene extrication is needed."
WREX-TV NBC 13 Rockford

Homer community comes to aid of firefighter’s family    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Firefighters are stepping up to help one of their own. A crew member's house caught fire Monday night. It's on Waverly. The home sustained smoke and water damage. The family had to find shelter, so family and friends started pitching in. The fire chief says it's important people show support. Chief Happ says donations are already being made to the account set up at Homer Bank.
WCIA & WCFN-TV CBS 3 Champaign

Thursday, February 11, 2016
La Grange Fire Department lands $122,000 grant   view comments tweat me share on facebook
La Grange Fire Department is slated to receive a $122,000 grant to purchase equipment designed to help firefighters breathe as they battle blazes. The Village Board unanimously approved Monday moving forward with the purchase of new self-contained breathing apparatus. The device is used by rescue workers and firefighters and to receive breathable air in hostile environments. The funds are provided through the Department of Homeland Security, Assistance to Firefighters grant program. The grant will pay about $122,000 of the cost and the village will pay about $7,000, for a total cost of about $129,000. The existing equipment is about 15 years old and the end of its useful life, said Fire Chief Donald J. Gay. "We're starting to lose [function] of some of air bottles. They're being marked out of service," he said. The Fire Department conducted a bidding process in which Air One Inc. of Elgin was the lowest bidder. Another bid was for about $185,000 and the third came in at about $132,000. Gay said the equipment selected has other benefits to the department. The equipment is familiar to firefighters who have used similar equipment for the last 45 years. It also is light weight, offers lumbar support, and the contractor provides on-site visits to check the equipment Gay said a committee helped put together the application for the grant, which they had not received on prior attempts. "We decided to give it one more try," he said. Village Board member Bill Holder praise the department for making the effort to secure the grant, and said he also is familiar with the equipment and believes the department has selected the top of the line.
The Doings LaGrange - metered site

Police, fire pensions still a thorn for Alton   view comments tweat me share on facebook
To no one’s surprise, two actuarial consultants told city officials this week that Alton’s police and fire pension funds are in poor shape, and offered no definitive solution to the problem. “We have this conversation every year or two years, but what do we do about it?” asked Alderman Jim Ryan, 1st Ward at Monday’s meeting of the aldermanic Committee of the Whole. “Nobody knows.” Mayor Brant Walker said city departments have cut their budgets deeply so as to increase pension contributions, but Ryan said the money still is not there to fully pay for the costs. One of the consultants, associate partner Andrew Witte of AON Hewitt in St. Louis, said the city should put more money into the two funds. After a court forced Alton to pay more of its obligation after decades of falling short, it has increased its payments in the past few years. Still, those years of not meeting its obligation has put the city behind by $85,371,666 for the two funds as of last March 31, according to the most recent city audit. Matt Williams, retired Alton fire captain who serves on the Firemen’s Pension Board, expressed his concerns at the meeting. “What worries us is $3 million comes in, and $3.7 million is going out. Our investments can’t grow. Everything those guys gave you are assumptions,” referring to Witte and his fellow consultant Matt Rustige. Williams asked the city to sit down and discuss the problem with pension board representatives.
Alton Telegraph

One woman rescued from Brookfield fire   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A woman was rescued from a house fire in Brookfield. It's not certain whether the woman sustain injuries or what her condition is. Earlier, SkyCam 9 showed firefighters venting the house by putting holes in the roof. The fire was several blocks south of Brookfield Zoo and shut down parts of Arden Ave.
WGN-TV 9 WB Chicago

Friends raise money for former Kankakee firefighter battling ALS   view comments tweat me share on facebook
It has been a terrible and magnificent year for Derek Hogg. He’s the former Kankakee firefighter battling ALS-Lou Gehrig's Disease. FOX 32's Dane Placko first introduced us to Hogg last year as he was still fighting to keep his job. It’s a fight he lost, but now he has gained something much greater. Hogg left his job as a Kankakee firefighter after city officials refused to extend his employment by a few weeks so that he would qualify for a disability pension.
WFLD-TV MyFox 32 Chicago

Generator fire prompts partial evacuation of Danville Public Safety Building   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A backup generator at the Danville Public Safety Building caught fire Wednesday afternoon, prompting the evacuation of some portions of the building. Capt. Don McMasters said the diesel generator backs up electricity for a portion of the building, which houses the county jail, sheriff's department, Danville police and 911 center. The call came in at 2:21 p.m., McMasters said, and when the fire department arrived, maintenance workers at the building had already shut down the generator and extinguished the fire, which was caused by a motor overheating, spewing oil and shooting flames out of the unit. Firefighters worked on getting smoke out of the building as those who evacuated returned. He said firefighters cleared the scene at 3:02 p.m. Public safety building officials had already tabbed the aging backup generator for replacement in a list of $3.5 million in improvements needed at the PSB. And just Tuesday night, the Vermilion County board approved a bond issue to pay for all the work to be done at the building that's 40-plus years old.
Champaign News-Gazette

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