Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Orland Fire Public Education coordinator receives statewide honors

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Orland Fire Public Education coordinator receives statewide honors 

The Illinois Fire Inspectors Association presented its highest recognition on Friday October 23, 2015 to Elizabeth “Betsy” Dine the Public Education Coordinator for the Orland Fire Protection District.

Dine received the IFIA’s “New Horizon Award” at the group’s annual Fire Prevention Week luncheon held at Medinah Banquet Hall, 550 Shriners Drive in Addison.

 IFIA President Mike Toika cited Dine’s achievements in educating the public to fire safety through a variety of programs.

The award is the second that the District has received this year recognizing its public education programming.

Betsy Dine

Earlier, the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance present the “Life Safety Award” award to Dine and to Fire Officials.

The IFSA cited the OFPD’s annual Kid’s Fire & Life Safety Camp, which is dedicated to exposing school-aged children to safety lessons dealing with potential hazards that may exist around or in their homes and schools, while also making the educational experience fun, entertaining and educational.

The IFSA award was presented to the OFPD officials and to Dine at ceremonies held on October 8, 2015 at Bobak’s Signature Events in Woodridge.

A certified teacher, Dine was hired by the Orland Fire District in 2013 and has supervised and organized public outreach programs including expanding the annual Open House and the annual Kid’s Fire & Life Safety Camp.

As public education coordinator, Dine travels to area schools to speak with parents, teachers and children about safety and emergency response education as well as promoting the district’s programs.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Homeowner suffers 2nd degree burns in Orland Park town home fire

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Homeowner suffers 2nd degree burns in Orland Park town home fire

One civilian was hospitalized following injuries during a fire at a Town Home in Orland Park on Saturday morning, officials of the Orland Fire Protection District said.

The fire was reported at an 8-unit, 2-story Town Home at 6:30 AM at 15829 Orland Brook Drive. The unnamed resident was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox for treatment of 2nd Degree Burns, paramedics and emergency officials reported. The individual's status is not available but he was expected to be moved by hospital personnel to the Loyola Burn Unit for additional treatment.

One Orland Fire fighter was treated for exhaustion and smoke inhalation at the scene of the fire, but was later released and is back on the job, Interim Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Michael Schofield said Saturday.

Witnesses reported the fire at 6:30 AM on Saturday after seeing smoke billowing from the roof of the town home complex. First arriving companies found heavy fire from several 2nd floor units of the 2-story 8-unit Town Home building. A Box alarm was called for additional manpower and equipment. Multiple lines were deployed to control the fire and initial search of the all units were completed. The fire made its way from the upstairs unit to the building attic area.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The building suffered extensive damage. No other injuries were reported.

(Photos attached from the structure fire, courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

OFPD recognizes firefighter longevity in service

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OFPD recognizes firefighter longevity in service

The Orland Fire Protection District presented longevity awards to four of its career firefighters during its regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday August 25, 2015.

The firefighters honored were Fire Engineer Jim Mazurkiewicz, Battalion Chief Joseph Moore, Lt. David Nagle, and Lt. Todd Schuneman. Each of the firefighters have served 20 years at the Fire District.

Interim Fire Chief Michael Schofield, acting in the absence of Fire Chief Ken Brucki who has taken a leave-of-absence, presented the awards during the board meeting.

"All of these professional firefighters have dedicated themselves to serving the people of the Fire District," Schofield said. "They are committed to providing life-saving emergency services in times of need."

Three other firefighters were unable to attend the meeting to receive their service awards including Engineer Larry Warszalek, who has served 25 years, Firefighter George Schick and Lt. Jerry Bohne who each served 20 years.

Lt. Todd Schuneman with his wife and son, and Interim Fire Chief Michael Schofield

Lt. Dave Nagle receives citation from Interim Chief Michael Schofield

Engineer Jim Mazurkiewicz with his wife and children, and Interim Chief Michael Schofield

Battalion Chief Joe Moore with his wife and Interim Chief Michael Schofield

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

No injuries at Orland Home seriously damaged by fire

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No injuries at Orland Home seriously damaged by fire

Lightning suspected, officials said. The family was on vacation

The Orland Fire Protection District responded to a fire reported in a home located on the 108th block of West Scarlet Drive in Orland Park early Wednesday morning.

The fire was reported at about 2:46 am on Wednesday July 29, 2015 and initial arriving fire companies found heavy fire had spread through the attic and roof areas of the 5,000 square foot residential home. Firefighters reported that heat radiating from the blaze was extensive.

OFPD Chief Ken Brucki said that firefighters immediately went into a defensive position to get the fire under control preventing any injuries.

“This fire had a tremendous amount of heat and it concerned us,” Brucki said. “We were concerned about structures around the property and took appropriate precautions to keep nearby properties safe.”

Brucki said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

“Crews were able to conduct a rapid primary search to confirm there were no occupants in the property at the time, and we were able to verify that the family was vacationing,” Brucki said.

The alarm was elevated to a full still to bring in additional companies.  A total of two aerial master streams and five large diameter hand-lines were required to extinguish the fire. 

The structure suffered major fire damage to the entire roof and extensive damage to the interior of the structure from fire, smoke, and water. 

It took approximately an hour to bring the fire under control. 

Brucki said one possible cause of the fire may be lightning noting “there was a tremendous amount of lightning in the area at approximately the same time of the fire.”

Brucki also said that the fire department was able to deploy a drone to assist in quickly identifying the fire location on the home.

“It was a very large home and the drone helped give us an immediate, aerial view of the property and the fire,” Brucki said.  “The aerial view assisted the Battalion Chief to direct suppression efforts to bring the fire under control.”


Drone Video Link

Drone still Pic’s Links


Monday, July 27, 2015

OFPD hosts safety camp for kids

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Kids spend week learning about emergency safety at a Safety Camp hosted by the Orland Fire Protection District.

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The Orland Fire Protection District’s Fire & Life Safety Camp was held Tuesday, July 13th through Friday, July 17th, and was a huge hit again this year! Public Education Coordinator Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Dine wants to thank everyone who came out to speak and to help at our camp this year. It would not be as successful without all the volunteers who give of their time to make it a great experience for the kids and Betsy would like to thank each and every one of her volunteers. Each camp day schedule was a mix of fun fire and life safety lessons.
_SS19969 (1024x683)On Tuesday (July 14-17, 2015), the camp kicked off with Fire Chief Ken Brucki welcoming the campers. Next the campers watched our very own firefighters perform a live fire response demo. It’s always very exciting for them and they are able to ask questions afterwards. Next, they learned about CPR and First Aid with many hands-on activities. After that a representative from Advocate Children’s Hospital gave them a lesson in injury prevention, which included poison prevention and the Berry Unsafe House.
Wednesday we had some very special guests drop by the camp to surprise the kids. Denver Broncos football player Michael Schofield, and his friend Kendall Coyne, who won a Silver medal in the 2013 Olympics playing for the US Women’s Hockey Team, stopped by to speak to the campers about their individual journeys to becoming the athletes they are today and the dedication and commitment it takes to be the best they can be and never giving up on your dreams. They both autographed the kids’ camp shirts. Bear Paddle Swim School came out and helped our Dive Team instructor teach the children about water safety with live demonstrations in the pool.
_SS19973 (1024x683)The children also learned about safe bike riding and went home with their own helmet fitted specifically for them by the team from Advocate Children’s Hospital. Some of the firefighters helped the children tour our fire and life safety trailer, teaching the children about kitchen and bedroom fire safety, and learned about EDITH (Exit Drills in the Home). A lesson on pet safety was given by Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs. The handlers brought these beautiful sweet golden retrievers to demonstrate the importance of taking care of your pets in a safe and loving way. Our very own Fire Dog Sparky made an appearance as well, to visit with the children and taught them some new dance moves.
Thursday was a rainy day and we spent most the days indoors listening to various speakers. First up was Papa Choo Choo (Gordon Bowe) from Operation Lifesaver/Union Pacific Railroad. He did a great job informing the children why to stay off railroad tracks and how to be safe when crossing tracks and showed them a great movie. Next a nutritionist spoke to the campers about the importance of healthy eating and developing good eating habits. Lastly, Author Nancy Flowers spoke to the children about a very important topic, BULLYING. She gave them great pointers on how not to be a bully and what to do if they are being bullied.
Our last day, Friday was a fun-filled day. First a police officer spoke to the children about stranger danger and how there are good and bad strangers. She gave them instruction on reacting in different situations. Also, an Officer from the Cook County Sherriff’s Department SWAT Team showed the children the vehicle they use and some
of their equipment. The kids were able to try on the different gear and had a great time in the Show & Tell exercises. The last part of the day the children got to go to various stations—one being the Firefighter Challenge where they got to shoot a real fire hose using water and a house to put the fake flames out. They had a lot of fun getting wet. The next station was the Combat Challenge which represents a firefighter in action. The campers climbed through windows and went through obstacles, crawling under pretend smoke and up and around to safe ground. They competed boys vs. girls and were timed. The very last station was a Wheel of Wisdom where they competed against each other about how much they learned throughout the week by being given questions they had to buzz in quickly on and answer correctly.
Graduation came way too quickly as the parents came to see the campers get their camp diplomas. Fire Chief Brucki quizzed them on all they learned and they were very quick to raise their hands to answer the questions, and were very excited to do so.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Orland Fire Foundation awards scholarships at annual fundraiser

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Orland Fire Foundation awards scholarships at annual fundraiser

For the third year in a row, community leaders and senior activists joined together with officials and volunteers of the Orland Fire Protection District’s Fire Foundation to raise funds for educational and training programs on lifesaving, CPR and emergency services. This year the Orland Fire Foundation also awarded three scholarships to graduating high school seniors.

The Orland Fire Prevention District’s Fire Foundation awarded scholarships during its annual fundraiser Thursday May 21 at 94 West Grille & Tavern to three graduating high school seniors who are pursuing Fire or EMS college studies.
The annual Fire Foundation event raises funds to support a wide range of programs including: donating Knox Boxes to seniors; hosting the annual Kids Fire & Life Safety Camp; providing free CPR and AED public training; and donating to other charitable fire related causes including this year to the family of Wes Peak, an Orland firefighter who died in 2014.
Patti Brucki, the volunteer coordinator for the Orland Fire Foundation, said the evening raised more than $13,000 and nearly matched the $14,000 raised at last years reception.
“This year we are most excited in announcing our inaugural scholarships for young adults who are entering fire service or emergency medical service,” Patti Brucki said in welcoming the more than 250 guests.
Orland Fire Prevention District Trustee Jayne Schirmacher introduced the three $1,000 scholarship winners. They are:
  • Amber Snedden, a graduate of Andrew High School, will be attending Loyola University in the fall to pursue a career in medicine. She has performed more than 200 hours of community service.
  • Sarah Cinquepalmi, a graduate from Sandburg High school, will be attending the University of Iowa and will study Emergency Room Nursing. She was a 4-year member of the student council and the Sandburg debate team. Sarah performed more than 406 hours of community service.
  • Mitch Zieler, a graduate of Sandburg High school, will attend Moraine Valley Community College to study Fire Sciences and hopes to become a fire chief one day.
“The Orland Fire Foundation supports public safety and education in the Orland Park community and surrounding areas through the Kids Fire & Life Safety Camp, and the Community Care Safety Program,” Patti Brucki explained.
“So if you don’t know CPR or don’t know how to use an AED, give us a call. The foundation is running free classes all the time. And if you want them to come out and do a training at your business, your school or organization, they will do that.”
From Left, Amber Snedden, Sarah Cinquepalmi, Fire Chief Ken Brucki, Mitch Zieler, OFPD Trustee Jayne Schirmacher
From Left, Amber Snedden, Sarah Cinquepalmi, Fire Chief Ken Brucki, Mitch Zieler, OFPD Trustee Jayne Schirmacher
Fire Chief Ken Brucki acknowledged the local public officials who attended and support the foundation reception. They included Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin, Orland Park Village Manager Paul Grimes, High School District 230 Supt. Dr. James Gay, School District 135 Supt. Janet Stutz from, Orland Village Trustees Dan Calandriello, Michael Carroll, and Carole Griffin Ruzich, and Fire District Trustees John Brudnak, Chris Evoy, Blair Rhode and Jim Hickey.
“This is another example of how our taxing bodies are working together for you and for our residents. It takes all of us. It takes a village. It takes a community,” Chief Brucki said.
Each year since 2013, the OFPD Foundation has donated money to underwrite programs that include providing Knox Boxes to Seniors, offering public CPR and Emergency response training, supporting the annual children’s fire and life safety camp, and donating to other fire-related charitable needs.
“All of these programs help raise public awareness of emergency safety issues and support important community causes,” said Patricia Brucki, who serves as the Foundation’s volunteer coordinator.
The Knox Box is a home security system that allows firefighters to enter homes in response to emergency calls when the homeowner may not be able to respond or open the door. The OFPD Foundation provides support to purchase Knox Boxes on loan to senior citizens and individuals who are disabled.
The evening’s food was donated for the third year in a row by attorneys Jim Roche and Burton S. Odelson. Entertainment was provided by Donny O and Rhonda Lee.
Other Foundation members and volunteers included members of the Senior Advisory Council members Diana Husband, Mane Pritza, and Pete Stoncius, and retired and active Fire District personnel including R.J. Stachnik, Gerry Strunka, Joan Pickens, Bob Palermo, Stephanie Koenig, Senior Advisory Council Coordinator Rosemaria DiBenedetto, and community members Janette Walsh and Jerry Ruggio.
Raffle prizes were donated by Vera Bradley, and donated services from Uncle Julio’s, Texas Roadhouse, Giordano’s, Orland bakery, and Q spa.
Attendees also donated bags of food that were delivered to the Orland Food Pantry.
For more information and to see a full list of the contributors and sponsors of the foundation event, visit the Orland Fire Protection District website at www.OrlandFire.org.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Christopher Evoy elected as new OFPD President

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Christopher Evoy elected as new OFPD President

Orland Fire Protection District Board members, from left, John Brudnak, Jim Hickey, Jayne Schirmacher, Chris Evoy and Blair Rhode.
Orland Fire Protection District Board members, from left, John Brudnak, Jim Hickey, Jayne Schirmacher, Chris Evoy and Blair Rhode.
The Orland Fire Protection District Board of Trustees Tuesday (May 19, 2015) named Christopher Evoy as its new president, succeeding Jim Hickey who is stepping aside as president to focus on increased personal responsibilities.
Hickey has served on the board as a trustee since 2009 and was elected to serve as board president by the board in 2010. He was re-elected to a second six-year term this past April. Evoy has served as a trustee since his election in 2011 along with Trustee Blair Rhode. Trustees John Brudnak and Jayne Schirmacher were elected to the board in 2013.
Christopher Evoy
Christopher Evoy
Hickey said he remains committed to the Orland Fire Protection District but decided to step down serving as president because of increased responsibilities in his personal life.
“I started law school and am completing my first year and it requires a lot of my time and attention,” Hickey said.
“I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish with the support of the Orland Fire Protection District Board but I don’t feel that I can continue to meet the responsibilities as board president while also pursuing my law degree, which requires very rigorous studies. I know Chris Evoy will be a great board president.”
The board voted unanimously to elect Evoy as President, and named Brudnak as President Pro Tempore, serving in the absence of the president. Schirmacher, who served as Secretary to the board was elected Treasurer, and Rhode was elected the board’s new Secretary.
Evoy’s election in 2011 marked a major refocus for the Orland Fire Protection District which is one of the largest in the Midwest. Evoy, Rhode and Hickey immediately refocused the board to address the public’s concerns over excessive spending by the prior board leadership, and implemented stronger budget management imposing spending limitations and reductions.
“We saved the district more than $4 million during the first few years and have held down spending considerably,” Hickey said.
Evoy praised Hickey’s service and stressed that the change over is not about performance but personal needs at this time.
“Jim has done a great job as president, leading the board through a transition that has refocused the Fire District towards budget savings while maintaining the highest levels of emergency service and response,” Evoy said.
Under Hickey’s leadership, the board also implemented a full transparency policy to provide all district documents to the public online.
“Our biggest accomplishment was putting the brakes on the spending,” Hickey said. “We’ve done that and continued to maintain the highest professionalism at the Fire District,” Hickey said.
Some of the volunteers at the 2014 Orland Fire Foundation event
Some of the volunteers at the 2014 Orland Fire Foundation event
“I think residents can be proud that they have the best Fire District in the Midwest and they receive the best possible service and emergency response.”
The board last month changed the originally scheduled board meeting of Tuesday May 26 to May 19 because of the Memorial Day weekend holiday.
In other business, the board tabled a proposal to renovate Fire Station #3. Fire Chief Ken Brucki announced the Orland Fire Protection District has scheduled this year’s popular Kids Camp for July 14 through July 17, and the annual Open House for Sept. 26. Last year’s Open House attracted more than 800 attendees.
The Orland Fire Foundation will host its annual fundraiser this Thursday at 94th West Grille, to support both the Kids Camp and educational programs and CPR training directed towards Seniors and the public.
For more information, visit the Orland Fire Protection District’s website at www.OrlandFire.org.