Friday, April 4, 2014

Orland Fire District hosts training for the International Association of Arson Investigators

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Orland Fire District hosts training for the International Association of Arson Investigators

The Orland Fire Protection District (OFPD), working in conjunction with the Illinois Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), coordinated a two-day training seminar last week on the latest techniques to investigate vehicle fires.  

The Fire District hosted 140 professionals from across the country and Canada.  The students consisted of municipal and private investigators, Insurance Claims representatives, and mechanical and Electrical Engineers from General Motors, Navistar, and Chrysler Automotive.  In hosting the course, Orland Fire Protection District was able to train 10 Fire and Arson Investigators free of charge.

These types of cooperative efforts bring professionals from around the country to the Orland Fire Protection District to help educate and train district area investigators, Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Ken Brucki said.

The training is led by professional instructors Detective Barry Grimm and by Capt. Chris Elrod, both from the Wilmington, North Carolina Fire Department.

Arson investigators with the Orland Fire Protection District and the IL-Chapter of the IAAI worked with the instructors to develop the 30 different vehicle fire scenarios where students worked to identify the origin and the cause of each vehicle fires during this advanced training class.

The Fire District took full advantage of having so many vehicles at the Orland Fire Protection District training site.

“Each vehicle was prepared by the instruction staff to duplicate various causes and different origins located in and around the vehicle. The vehicles were set on fire using different methods to simulate mechanical malfunctions as well as incendiary causes of fires.  We then used the opportunity to train our suppression companies on the various techniques used to effectively fight a vehicle fire,” Brucki said.

“During this step, we took the time to educate and train claim representatives from State Farm Insurance, GEICO, and American Family Insurance.  It was a perfect opportunity to have members from the insurance company witness firsthand the procedure for investigating a vehicle fire and help educate them to the process when completing a claim.”

The Orland Fire District working in conjunction with the Illinois Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators secured 30 salvaged vehicles from West and Sons Towing in Addison, IL.

The Fire District will continue to use these vehicles for the next month to complete several auto extrication drills during regular training sessions.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

OFPD provides CPR Training to Bridge Teen Center staff

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OFPD provides CPR Training to Bridge Teen Center staff

Officials of the Orland Fire Protection District provided a hands-on training session for the administrators and the staff of the Bridge Teen Center Monday in using the AED, Automated External Defibrillator which can increase the chances of survival for victims of heart related emergencies.

The Foundation donated the AED to the Bridge Teen Center at 15555 S. 71st Court, a place where teens and young people gather to enjoy a wide range of after-school and summer programs.

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) training was provided by two retired members of the Orland Fire Protection District, Lt. Chris Smith and Engineer Robert Palermo, who offered hands on instructions on the proper way to administer CPR and proper use of an AED.

“The AED is very easy to use,” Smith explained noting that once you know how to apply the device, the device offers instructions on what steps need to be taken in emergency situations.

“Statistics have shown that if you can shock an adult patient in the first minute of cardiac arrest, when there is no breathing and no heart beat, there is over a 90 percent chance of saving them. After 5 minutes it drops 50 percent. And it drops 5 to 7 percent for every minute after that. AEDs can save lives.”

Smith said that giving a patient those extra few minutes while an ambulance is arriving to respond to the emergency can make the difference between life and death. AEDs are portable electronic devices that diagnose life threatening cardiac arrhythmia and ventricular tachycardia in patients. Once diagnosed, the device assists in treating the victim through electrical impulses that stimulate the heart, allowing the heart to reestablish its own rhythm.

The Orland Fire Protection District is expanding its “Community CARE” program to provide CPR and emergency training to the staff of businesses and organizations throughout the district.

Community CARE encourages businesses to purchase an AED, or Automatic External Defibrillator, which fire officials said can increases the likelihood of survival for victims experiencing a heart attack or other heart related emergencies.

The Orland Fire Protection District Community CARE Program is dedicated to the proposition that, when it comes down to those precious minutes following sudden cardiac arrest, planning saves lives.

The program’s primary mission is two-fold: to increase the number of people trained in CPR and the use of an AED and to increase the availability of public access to Defibrillators (PADs). Furthermore, the program aims to create a monitoring / maintenance program ensuring CPR skills remain current and defibrillator batteries and pads remain operational.

Community CARE is modeled from a successful Seattle Washington program, boasting a near 50% survival rate in reducing fatalities from cardiac arrest for over three decades.

The cost of AED devices range between $800 to $3,000, officials said. Currently, AEDs are located at many schools and businesses in Orland Park. Officials said every school has an AED with trained staff. Last month, OFPD officials offered training to staff and employees at Mercedes Benz of Orland Park, which has two AED devices.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that preserves blood circulation and brain function of a person in cardiac arrest through manual chest compressions. CPR creates artificial blood circulation through the heart until spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest can be restored.


Orland Fire District honors firefighters for emergency response calls

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Orland Fire District honors firefighters for emergency response calls

On January 2, 2014 paramedics responded to an individual with difficulty breathing at an extended care facility. On arrival, they determined the patient,  a 90 year old woman to be in cardiac arrest. They initiated high performance CPR and the patient was defibrillated and given medications. The patient was taken to the hospital with her blood pressure and pulse stabalized.

Recognized were fire fighters: Robert Proctor, Brian Thompson, Eng. David Nagel, lt Eric Johnson, Eng Robert Walsh, lt Peter Vassios, Daniel Ritchie and Chad Erickson.

Chief Brucki, Firefighter/Paramedic Chad Erickson, Engineer Dave Nagle, Engineer Rob Walsh, Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Thompson, Lieutenant Erick Johnson, Lieutenant Mark Duke. 

On Jan. 31, 2014, paramedics responded to a cardiac arrest call at an extended care facility. They initiated high performance CPR on the patient, an 81 year old male and they identified an obstructed airway. The obstruction was removed and after 20 minutes of resuscitation, the patient regained a pulse and blood pressure. Induced hypothermia was initiated according to standing medical orders and the patient was taken to the hospital where the patient resumed treatment and care.

On March 2, 2014, paramedics responded at a residence for an unresponsive 58 year old male. The patient was determined to be in cardiac arrest and high performance CPR was initiated. The patient was defibrillated several times after which he regained a strong pulse, blood pressure and spontaneous respirations. The patient was taken to the local hospital where he continued his treatment.

Recognized for both the Jan. 31 incident and the March 2 incident were: firefighters Lt. Robert Stachnik, Eng Steven Rivero, Lt. Erick Johnson, Eng. Robert Winkelman and David Popp.

Chief Brucki, Firefighter/Paramedic Dave Popp, Engineer Bob Winkelman, Lieutenant Erick Johnson, Engineer Steve Rivero, Lieutenant R.J. Stachnik, Lieutenant Mark Duke.

Fire Chief Ken Brucki said that a fourth fifer on March 12 at a home in Orland Park at 145th Street was particularly challenging because the home had a 300 foot “set-back” from the street.

“It was a very cold day and we had to stretch the hoses further. But we were fortunate that a neighbor had cleared the very high piles of snow from the fire hydrants nearby,” Brucki recalled.

“Our battalion chiefs and firefighters are always ready. We have four BC’s at the scene to lend a hand. They had heard the calls and came out to assist. It helped. I also personally went to the home of the neighbor to shake his hand and tell him how much his efforts to keep the fire hydrant cleared helped us to fight the fire at the home. The snow around it was several feet higher than the top of the hydrant so having it cleared meant the response was faster and effective.”

Brucki also said that the Fire Department would hire 10 more firefighters who are also paramedics immediately to replace 10 veteran firemen who are retired or leaving because of “normal attrition.” The proposal to hire the 10 firefighters to fill the vacancies was approved by the full board.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Home fire on West 145th Street in Orland Park Wednesday

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Home fire on West 145th Street in Orland Park Wednesday 

At about 1:50 pm on Wednesday afternoon, 3/12/2014, the Orland Fire District responded to investigate smoke coming from a home in the 9800 block of 145th St.

The first arriving units reported heavy smoke showing and fire visible inside the front door of the one story home set back off the road. Initial efforts were made to attack the fire from inside the home. The fire in the living area had extended into the attic.

After finding areas the fire had burned through the floor, firefighting efforts were made from the outside until the fire could be controlled and visibility improved to evaluate the condition of the floor for firefighter safety. The fire was controlled in about an hour. Firefighters from neighboring Palos, Mokena, Homer, Northwest Homer, Crestwood, Tinley Park, Posen, and Palos Heights were on the scene to assist.

Other area departments staffed Orland stations during the incident. The two residents at home at the time of the fire escaped without injury. The Red Cross was called and on scene to assist the 7 displaced residents. Orland investigators determined the accidental fire originated in a back bedroom and the cause to be electrical.  

Fire Chief Ken Brucki said, "The Orland Fire District extends its appreciation to a neighbor who had taken the time to dig out the fire hydrant from the heavy wet snow at the end of his driveway. Those efforts saved time for firefighters so they didn’t have to search for it and dig it out when found. Clear access also provides for supply hoses to be connected more efficiently guaranteeing water in the hoses for the safety of firefighters inside."

Photo courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Orland Fire District promotes Healthy Heart Awareness fundraiser

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Orland Fire District promotes Healthy Heart Awareness fundraiser

David Nocera, owner of Mercedes Benz of Orland Park hosted a “Healthy Heart Awareness" Fundraiser to benefit the American Heart Association on February 20, 2014.  

The Orland Fire Protection District was proud to participate along with a number of other invited guests and offered demonstrations on CPR, Automated External Defibrillators (AED), and techniques on how to save choking victims.

OFPD Battalion Chief Raymond Kay participated in the event to give attendees an opportunity to view firsthand how life-saving strategies are applied during emergency situations.

Kay is also leading the Orland Fire Protection District’s Community CARE program which seeks to place AEDs at various local communities.

“Having an AED and a staff person who is trained in operating an AED can assist in saving lives,” Kay said. “Those first few minutes can often determine whether a person survives sudden cardiac arrest. Having an AED and a staff person trained in its use can help sustain the patient during the first few minutes as emergency medical personnel and dispatched. It makes a difference and the Orland Fire Protection District is supporting a campaign to make more available through local businesses.”
During the “Healthy Heart Awareness” fundraiser, officials from Mercedes Benz of Orland Park and the Orland Fire Protection District presented demonstrations on life saving techniques and presented information about the Community CARE program.  As a result of this event, Mercedes Benz of Orland Park owner David Nocera plans to purchase two AEDs.

"Community CARE is a comprehensive community oriented program geared to save lives of cardiac arrest victims,” Kay said. "The Orland Fire District offers FREE CPR and AED classes in an effort to increase the chances to save a life.”

For more information on Community CARE or how to schedule a presentation at your event, Contact Battalion Chief Kay or visit the Orland Fire Protection District’s website at


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Garage Fire in Orland Park (Crystal Tree) Sunday morning

Fire hydrant in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Fire hydrant in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Garage Fire in Orland Park (Crystal Tree) Sunday morning

On Sunday February 2, 2014 at 08:27 we had a report of a fire in a residence at 14537 Crystal Tree Drive.  The initial dispatch had Battalion 4, Truck 1, Engine 3, Engine 5, and ambulance 3 responding.  Upon our arrival Engine 3 reported heavy smoke coming from the attached three car garage of a large 4000 square foot home.  The alarm was upgraded to bring additional companies to the fire and additional units into the District to maintain emergency response District wide. 

The initial crews responded within 1 minute of the call and were on the scene within 4 minutes.  Engine 3 was the initial arriving company and made an aggressive interior attack while the first arriving Truck conducted a primary search to ensure the safety of the residents. 

There were two residents in the home at the time of the fire, both left the home immediately and are in good condition.  The fire was contained to the garage due to the quick response time and aggressive interior attack from the first arriving companies.  Although the fire was contained to the garage compartment, the rest of the home did suffer heavy smoke damage.  The fire companies doing salvage and overhaul did little additional damage making sure the fire did not extend to any other areas of the residence.  The fire is still under investigation and the focus of the investigation is being directed at one of the two vehicles located in the garage. 

Fire Chief Brucki said, "I was very proud of the rapid response and aggressive fire fighting techniques of the first arriving crews.  Given the weather conditions and the other various challenges, our crews acted quickly to prevent further damage to the residence.  The safety of the crews responding and the residents we serve is our main priority, however, we take pride in our ability to preserve property and assist the residents with cleanup after an incident.  We realize the trauma and devastation a fire has on our residence and make every attempt to assist them in their time of need."

One additional public safety note, with all the snow and the plowing efforts to maintain safe travel on the roadways, please make sure all hydrants are clear and snow removed from around the hydrant so that fire companied can first find the hydrant and then utilize it in the event of a fire, Brucki said.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

OFPD Orland Hills home damaged by Fire Wednesday night

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OFPD Orland Hills home damaged by Fire Wednesday night

The Orland Fire District responded to a house fire in the 9300 block of Hunter Ct. Wednesday, January 29. Orland Fire dispatch received a 911 call reporting a fire in the garage at about 7 p.m.

Initial arriving units reported a small fire in the back of the garage with smoke showing from the roof and second floor. The fire in the garage was extinguished but it had burned inside and up the wall to the second floor. Orland Firefighters assisted by Tinley Park held the fire at the second floor before it had gotten into the attic. Due to the open truss flooring system used the fire had spread through much of the enclosed floor space above the first floor. There was significant smoke damage throughout the home. The occupants were home at the time of fire, were alerted quickly to the fire, and able to escape without injury.

The cause of the fire, at the time of this release, is under investigation.

Photos courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District