Illinois News

Friday, June 15, 2018

Mundelein hires first fire chief since 2015, eliminates public safety director position

Mundelein on Monday appointed its first fire chief since 2015, moving away from a management structure that had the police chief in charge of both departments. Bill Lark, who has spent the last several years in various fire department leadership positions, was named the new chief. Lark was promoted to battalion chief in 2014, deputy chief in 2015 and the position of chief deputy chief in 2017. Mayor Steve Lentz proposed the appointment, and trustees voted 5-0 to ratify the move. Lentz also proposed repealing the ordinance that created a public safety director, which trustees also supported 5-0. “This is truly a historic evening,” Lentz said. “I can think of few professions on earth, really, with as noble of a calling as a first responder.”
Chicago Tribune

10 Rockford firefighters complete paramedic classroom training

Nearly a dozen members of the Rockford Fire Department are now one step closer to becoming paramedics. Thursday, those 10 firefighters graduated, celebrating their accomplishments after completing 10 months of classroom training. But they aren't paramedics yet, it could be an additional 6 to 8 months before they get all their required hours done on the ambulance to become certified licensed paramedics in the state of Illinois. "And we take great pride and pleasure in being able to provide the service of training the Rockford firefighters so they can go out and serve the community," said OSF EMS Coordinator A.J. Dilonardo.
WIFR-TV CBS 23 Rockford

President, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Letter: What does Illinois owe its firefighters?

Your editorial criticizing Buffalo Grove firefighter Kevin Hauber’s pension award shortchanged the subject of occupational diseases in firefighters. The pension board’s decision was based on Illinois law, and your editorial showed disregard for that law and the medical evidence behind it. Hauber’s death to colon cancer is not an anomaly among veteran firefighters. Extensive scientific research shows compelling evidence that specific cancers — including colorectal cancers — are strongly associated with firefighting. That evidence is a result of extensive university studies as well as that of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The editorial also neglected to recognize other critical medical factors: Hauber’s age, family, personal health history and genetic testing showed he was not a colon cancer risk. Rather, an overriding environmental risk for the 23-year veteran firefighter was cited as evidence of increased risk to colorectal cancer.
Chicago Tribune

Olney Fire Department Recives Four ISO Rating

The fire department in Olney Illinois is in charge of saving peoples lives. But after a new ISO rating, they are also hoping to save residents money. The department received a four rating from the Insurance Services Office. Olney was previously listed as a five. This puts the community in the top 28% of rated fire departments nationwide. The score is based on a variety of factors that judge how well the department can respond to fires. The lower the score, the better the department is rated. This rating is then given to insurances companies who use the information to set insurance rates. News 10 spoke with Olney fire chief Michael Hill. He says the rating is the result of hard work from his department. Hill says, "Part of being a firefighter is having pride in what we do and who we are. I think it's a big accomplishment for those guys to know that all their hard work has paid off."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Grant helps equip Lombard firefighters

Lombard firefighters recently trained on new self-contained breathing apparatus purchased with a $349,069 Assistance to Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. It was the largest federal grant ever received by the Lombard Fire Department. The SCBAs provide firefighters with breathable air in toxic environments and are essential to safe and effective firefighting and rescue efforts. The new SCBAs will use advanced technology, provide additional safety to firefighters during fire response calls, and replace the department's outdated and heavily used 13-year-old SCBAs that are no longer compliant with most current standards. The grant was made possible by a 10 percent grant match from the village. "This FEMA grant provides our firefighters with some of the safest SCBA technology available," Fire Chief Rick Sander said. "They will improve the health and safety of our fire personnel, which, in turn, directly benefits our community."
Illinois Daily Herald

Strasburg volunteer firefighters honored

Two local volunteer firefighters were honored by the Strasburg Volunteer Fire Department this year for their dedication to the fire department and the community. Assistant Chief Charles “Charlie” Culver has been a member of the Strasburg Volunteer Fire Department for 45 years and Capt. Brad Friese has been a member for 37 years. Both firefighters have completed many training courses along with certification on the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus air packs; Anhydrous Ammonia Training; Weather Spotter, Automobile Extraction and Grain Bin Extraction. Culver noted that on the day he joined the fire department, he was called out to work his first fire as the Windsor Funeral Home was burning. Both Friese and Culver remarked that one of the best things that has been implemented during the years is MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System.)
Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier

Moweaqua Fire Dept. gets new rig

The Moweaqua Fire Department has a new ambulance rig. The rig was donated by the Moweaqua Ambulance Trustees. It is a non-transport rig and will be the primary apparatus responding to EMS calls. It will also be used as a rehab unit on structure fires so responders can get in and cool down or warm up.
WAND-TV NBC Channel 17

Fire official: ’Freak accident’ may have caused fire at Fairview Heights restaurant

A cigarette tossed into nearby mulch is believed to have started a fire at a Fairview Heights restaurant. People inside the TGI Fridays on North Illinois Street called the fire department after smelling smoke and seeing some come out of the electrical outlets around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. There appears to be damage only near the restaurant’s entrance. Fire officials said they believe the fire started from a cigarette that was tossed into mulch near the entrance. The fire reportedly smoldered in the mulch before finding a small opening in the wall. It is unknown what time the cigarette was tossed into the mulch. Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Green called it a "freak accident."

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