Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Community Care: Return to Work Lab: A Firefighter's Story

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Community Care:

Return to Work Lab: A Firefighter's Story

How AEDs are important in saving lives. This story tells it perfectly.

Published on Apr 4, 2013
A Chicago-area firefighter loses his job after heart problems cause him to collapse during a racquetball game. Brian Stokes travels the Return to Work Lab at Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas in hopes of completing the six-week program and resuming his job as a firefighter.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

OFPD Board salutes outgoing trustees

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OFPD Board salutes outgoing trustees

(Photos attached courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District and Battalion Chief Dan Smith)

The Orland Fire Protection District Board saluted outgoing board members Marty McGill and Glenn Michalek for their service to the fire district during their six year terms at the district's regular meeting Tuesday April 23, 2013.

McGill and Michalek were unsuccessful in their re-election bids, and will be succeeded by OFPD Commissioner John Brudnak and Community Activist Jayne Schirmacher who won the April 9 elections by wide margins.

OFPD Board President Jim Hickey opened the meeting thanking both public officials for their service.

"Public service is not something people should take lightly. It's not about politics, even though politics oftentimes embraces, and sometimes overwhelms public service; but regular citizens make a commitment to serve the public and they do their best. They take the criticism and they take the praise," Hickey said.

"In that context, I would like to offer my best wishes to outgoing trustees Marty McGill and Glenn Michalek for the six years they have each given to public service on this board of the Orland Fire Protection District. We didn't always see eye-to-eye, and we often had spirited disagreements. But in the end, we always did what was best for our district."

Hickey noted that the new board leadership that formed in 2011 with the election of Trustees Chris Evoy and Blair Rhode, committed themselves to tightening the board's spending while maintaining the district's high quality emergency services.

"We have worked hard to not only stop the excessive spending, but also find ways to cut back spending, to respect the concerns of taxpayers and reduce our budget significantly. It's not easy. But we have done that," Hickey reminded the audience.

McGill and Michalek thanked the board members and the public.

"I want to thank everyone. I have been a firefighter and it has been close to my heart," Michalek said. "I hope the best for the board. Mr. President, trustees and Chief Brucki, it has been an honor."

The new board members, Brudnak and Schirmacher will be sworn in to six year terms at a special meeting of the Orland Fire Protection District on Tuesday May 7 at 5 pm.

Brudnak, who attended Tuesday's meeting, said he is looking forward to working with the board, noting that as a Commissioner, he helped oversee policy revisions, hiring and firing and several high profile disciplinary cases.

"I'm looking forward to continuing my commitment to the people of the Orland Fire Protection District now as a Trustee and dedicating myself to the mandate given to me by the voters and citizens of the District to continue to maintain a responsible review of budget spending while ensuring the the highest level of emergency fire service to our residents," Brudnak said.

McGill and Michalek received certificates and plaques noting their years of service. The board recessed to enjoy refreshments before reconvening for the regular board session agenda.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Accident on 159th and Wolf Road, both cars on fire

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Accident on 159th and Wolf Road, both cars on fire

On Sunday afternoon, 4/21/2013, the Orland Fire District was called to the area of 159th and Wolf for a motor vehicle crash. 

An off-duty Berwyn Fire Dept. officer reported the crash by radio to the Orland Dispatch Center. 

Engine 3 arrived in the 16000 block of Wolf and reported two vehicles in a rear-end type crash that were both on fire. Firefighters had checked and reported all victims had been able to get out on their own. Engine 3 was assisted by Truck 1 and Battalion 3 extinguishing the fire. 

Gasoline leaking from the pick-up truck’s ruptured gas tank caused the fire to spread and made extinguishment more difficult. The pick-up was completely burned while the fire was confined to the engine compartment of the car which also sustained heavy front end damage. 

One of the car’s occupants was evaluated on the scene but refused transport to the hospital. All others involved were uninjured. Wolf Road was closed for about an hour until the road was cleared.

Photos courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fire District hosts training session for regional EMTs

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Fire District hosts training session for regional EMTs

Nearly 100 Emergency Medical Services educators attended a three-day training session co-hosted by the National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE ) and the Orland Fire Protection District last week.

The attendees represented healthcare educators from a wide range of medical fields including firefighters, nurses, doctors, EMTs and paramedics. They were taught the latest science relative to teaching and learning in EMT.

Orland Fire Lieutenant Mark Duke said that by hosting the class, NAEMSE waived the tuition fee for Orland Fire District personnel, which helped to save district taxpayers the cost of this continuing education.

“We are hosting the classes here to learn the latest teaching styles and techniques for our paramedics,” Duke said.

Attendees also came from 50 communities in Illinois, including Aledo, Beecher, Berkeley, Bolingbrook, Brookfield, Canton, Carthage, Chatham, Chattanooga, Chicago, Crestwood, Darien, Des Plaines, Elgin, Frankfort, Genoa, Gurnee, Hometown, Hopkinsville, Jacksonville, Joliet, Kankakee, Manito, Marengo, Markham, Mchenry, Melrose Park, Metropolis, Morton, Mt. Prospect, Northlake, Oak Lawn, Palos Park, Princeville, Rapids City, Rockford, Schiller Park, Seaton, Springfield, Steger, Towanda, Wauconda, Waukegan, Waverly, and Westchester.

"The attendees teach at all levels of ems, including first responder, emt-b and paramedic entry level courses plus continuing education," Duke said.

Duke said the training session is required for those that want ems lead instructor certification in Illinois and it also helps to satisfy requirements for paramedic program educators who are seeking accreditation by the committee on accreditation of EMS programs (COAEMSP).

The instruction was provided by a team of professional emergency medical trainers included: Dr. Chris Nollette, past president of NAEMSE and Program director at Moreno Valley College in Southern California; Linda Abrahamson, also a past president of NAEMSE and Paramedic Program Director for Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn; and Connie Mattera, member of the board of directors of NAEMSE, EMS administrative director for the northwest community EMS system in Arlington Heights And chair of the IDPH EMS Education Committee. They were ably assisted by Laurie Davin, Education Coordinator for NAEMSE, that has its corporate offices in Pittsburgh.

Members of the 2013 NAEMSE Class

Nollette said that the Association is the only organization internationally that provides this type of brain-based learning for EMS professionals.

“The courses are research based so it PRESENTS our educators WITH the latest EVIDENCE so they can be more effective in the classroom,” Nollette said. “This allows them to better train EMS professionals to be more competent in the FIELD.”

According to Dr. Nollette, “It is a very popular course, because it is engaging and very effective. We come in and work as a team and design the training to address the specific needs that might be unique to the students’ different regions.”

Abrahamson said most of the instructors are skilled EMS providers and teach from experience.

“We see EMS education as a profession, and this is one of the tools to help them perform more competently as instructors,” Abrahamson said. “We give them the training they need to inspire others to provide competent, safe and compassionate quality care.”

Mattera said that once they complete their original EMS education, EMTs and paramedics are required to have 120 hours of continuing education every four years. This course also helps to prepare those instructors whose job focus is CE.

Davin said that the mission statement of NAEMSE is to promote excellence in EMS Education and encourage lifelong learning in the international community “which makes a better skilled EMS professional.”

Among the topics addressed include characteristics of adult learners, lesson plans and the learning environment, writing goals and objectives in all three domains of learning; discipline, evaluation and remediation, values and ethics, legal aspects of EMS education, cultural awareness, teaching psychomotor skills, teaching thinking skills, and presentation strategies.

“We provide many different aspects that an educator needs to be successful in a fun and student centered way,” Mattera said.

Duke added, “As educators, there are different learning styles and not everyone learns the same way, so the unique approaches in this class are very popular.”

Nollette said that NAEMSE provides these classes all over the US and Canada based on local requests. 

Mattera added that Illinois usually hosts three of the instructor Part 1 and one of the Instructor 2 classes each year distributed throughout the various regions of our state.  

For more information on the courses or their availability in locations in an around Illinois, please contact www.naemse.org.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Orland Fire District Foundation holds fundraiser Thursday May 2

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Orland Fire District Foundation holds fundraiser Thursday May 2

The Orland Fire Protection District Foundation is preparing their fundraiser to be held on Thursday May 2, 2013 to be held at 94 West restaurant in Orland Park.

Foundation committee members, comprised of community members and fire district employees, determined this year's event will support three specific groups including the Kids Fire and Life Safety Camp, the Community CARE Program, and the Residential Knox Box Program.

Community CARE provides training for individuals and businesses in CPR, AED and PADS.

The Kids Fire and Safety Camp is a weeklong children¹s camp hosted every summer by the Orland Fire Protection District to teach children fire safety practices and to understand fire prevention.

Activities include Combat challenge, CPR/First Aid, weather preparedness, fire prevention, Fire Safety Trailer, using fire hose, watching live fire and EMS scenarios, water day and many other activities The camp attracts as many as 60 children from the district each year.

The Residential Knox Box Program loans out boxes to elderly individuals who have debilitating medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, and limited mobility.  These boxes safely store keys so firefighters can enter a residence without damaging a door upon emergency entry.

"All of these programs are critical to raising fire prevention and emergency care awareness in our community. This education of the community assists firefighter response," Patti Brucki, a member of the committee said. Although there are some fees associated with the programs, funds raised by the Orland Fire Foundation are used to help keep those costs down to make them available to everyone.

The Orland Fire Foundation is a 501 ( c) 3 organization providing fire prevention and public safety awareness to the Orland Fire Protection District. The Foundation was reconstituted last year after a short hiatus. All Donations are tax deductible.

Brucki urged residents and businesses who wish to help the Fire District and to support the programs to contact her and consider sponsorship levels. Brucki can be reached at 708-288-1643.

Donations, such as Gift Certificates, Themed Baskets, Sports Memorabilia, Toys, Golf Packages, Jewelry or Event Tickets, for example, will be used for raffles to raise more funds during the event, and can be donated and dropped off in care of the Orland Fire Foundation at Fire Station #1, the OFPD Headquarters at 9790 W. 151st Street.

Tickets for the Foundation event are $50 each.  Each ticket includes drinks from 6-8:30 p.m, appetizers, and entertainment by Jimmy "O" and Rhonda Lee.  Professional photographer Rick Sanchez will take photos on the fire truck.  

Donate a bag of non-perishable food items for the Orland Township food pantry and your guest gets in free.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.orlandfire.org or at the door on May 2nd.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Orland Fire Protection District handles three fires in one hour

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Orland Fire Protection District handles three fires in one hour

Orland Fire District responds to three home and structure fires in lightning storm April 10

On April 10, 2013 a heavy thunderstorm moved through the Orland area. Fires were reported at homes and a barn: Cheswick Drive (home fire); a home on the 9000 Block of Fairway Drive; and a barn on a farm near Southwest Highway and Will-Cook Road (12000 Block of 179th) in Homer Township.

At 8:52 am, the Orland Fire Protection District was dispatched with a full response for a house struck by lightning on Cheswick Dr.

About two minutes later, another 9-1-1 was received reporting a house on fire in the 9000 block of Fairway Dr.

A full response was started to that location also diverting a couple units responding to the Cheswick incident, said OFPD Fire Chief Ken Brucki.

Dispatch was receiving confirming reports of a fire and upgraded the response to a working fire. The initial arriving engine was on scene in 4 minutes and reported fire showing from the roof.

As fire crews worked to extinguish the fire in the roof they used salvage covers below to protect the home and its furnishings from debris, smoke, and water. A hole was cut in the roof and siding removed to expose the burning area and extinguish.

The fire was under control in about 10 minutes and fire damage was confined to the roof structure. There was light smoke damage inside but it was limited due to the quick actions of the firefighters on scene.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a lighting strike to the East roof. Orland Fire was assisted by Oak Forest, Tinley Park, and Palos fire companies on the scene. There was one person at home at the time of the fire, who escaped without injury.

The fire on Cheswick was also caused by a lightning strike and was confined to a wall space. Orland Fire crews opened the wall spaces to assure it had been extinguished. Damage was confined inside the wall. No injuries were reported on this incident either.

Barn fire at farm

While fire crews were still on the scene at these two fires, a report of a barn on fire in the area of Southwest Highway and Will-Cook Road was reported.

The Fire District was able to respond quickly along with Mokena Fire and Palos Fire departments to the reported Barn Fire.

Orland Fire units arrived on the scene of the barn fire in the 12000 Block of 179th in Homer Township and found a barn on fire with two Oxen in a pen next to the barn.

Crews from Orland and Mokena quickly attacked the fire as the farmer moved the Oxen to a safe location.

Homer Fire was called for water tender since there are no fire hydrants in that area. The fire was quickly controlled with the barn suffering extensive damage to the roof, no livestock were injured, this fire; along with the other three appear to have been due to lightning strikes.

(Photos courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District)


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Automobile crashes into Orland Park home, no injuries

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Automobile crashes into Orland Park home, no injuries

On early Monday morning, the Orland Fire Protection District responded to a bad automobile crash that had, fortunately a good outcome.

At approximately 3:07 am Monday morning, there was a report of an automobile that crashed into a residential home at 8681 Grace Road. The vehicle crashed through the side of the house and plowed into the home’s basement.

Fortunately, there were no injuries. The driver was treated at the scene and released.

There were three people at home in the residence none of them injured.

The initial fire companies secured the utilities, check for hazards and stability of both the vehicle and the structure. Firefighters did a primary search of the structure for occupants and then controlled access to the structure pending further evaluation. Members of the district technical rescue team and the village of Orland Park building department determined the structure elements in the basement had been damaged and the home needed to be tagged as no occupancy till board up and shoring was completed.

The vehicle was removed from the basement with no additional damage.

(Photos courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District.)