Park Forest Fire Department Activity Report for April 16-22, 2017

Tracy Natyshok and Bruce Ziegle Fire Department
Assistant Fire Chief Tracy Natyshok (left) and Fire Chief Bruce Ziegle present their department’s FY2016-2017 budget. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)
From the Park Forest Fire Department on Facebook

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Park Forest Fire Department reported another full week with total responses (calls for service) at 69. Of these, 14 were fire and/or service calls, 55 were EMS or ambulance calls.

Response Activity

Early Easter Sunday, members responded to a reported structure fire in the 200 block of Allegheny Street. Units arrived to find fire blowing out 2 windows from a bedroom on the 1st floor. Further complicating the situation was having 4 of the 6 on duty members tied up on two ambulance responses at the time of this fire. The fire had extended from the first floor bedroom, up the roof line, and into void spaces on the second floor and in the attic. Units from Park Forest, Matteson, Richton Park, South Chicago Heights and University Pak participated in the extinguishment of this blaze. The cause of this fire is believed to be suspicious and the investigation was turned over to the Police Department.

Residents may have seen a Frankfort Fire Protection District ambulance providing service in Park Forest this week. This ambulance was on loan to Park Forest from Frankfort as two of the department’s three ambulances were out of service for extensive repairs. This loan allowed Park Forest to respond to multiple ambulance requests without the need to request mutual aid.

Training Activities

On Monday, April 17, career members completed SCBA/primary search training. This training was conducted at the training site using a smoke machine to fill the tower with smoke. On Tuesday, April 18, shift members participated in fire apparatus engineering training. Wednesday, April 19 thru Friday, April 21, career staff completed continuing education testing. The examination, proctored by the South Cook County EMS director, is required of all paramedics to maintain their certification.

On Friday April 21, career members, along with the POC (Paid on Call) division, conducted an evening live fire practical at the training site.

Other Activities

On Tuesday, the department hosted the quarterly meeting of the Park Forest Firefighters Pension Fund. This group oversees activity of the pension fund for career firefighters (active and retired) to assure funding is available for members in retirement or in the event of a disability. Board members oversee investments in bonds and stocks that help to assure the solvency of the fund. All of the activity of the pension board is ultimately regulated by the Illinois Department of Insurance and is audited annually.

On Wednesday, the Fire Chief attended the monthly WILCO Fire Chief’s/MABAS Division 27 meeting. This is a regional fire department meeting to discuss issues common to the local fire departments and efforts to address these issues. This group also helps coordinate activities of the joint special teams for HazMat, water rescue, technical rescue and fire investigation.

Also on Wednesday, the Deputy Fire Chief attended the business networking breakfast hosted by economic development at Dining on the Green. Here the D/C participated in activities and offered the assistance of the fire department to various area businesses and groups.

On Thursday, the Fire Chief along with other representatives of WILCO/MABAS 27 met with representatives of MABAS Division 24 at the Park Forest Fire Station. These groups came together to discuss budgeting and policies for the inter-division cooperative efforts in HazMat, water rescue and technical rescue. The groups work together to provide these services to the wider region in order to provide sufficient members for responses and to try and keep overall costs down.

This week department mechanics performed annual servicing on the Mobile Ventilation Unit (fan truck) supplied by MABAS-Illinois and operated by the division. Park Forest mechanics attended special training provided by the manufacturer and MABAS to learn to perform this maintenance and to help keep this complicated vehicle operational. This MVU is one of only about 10 in the State of Illinois and has responded across the region to provide services for large fire and smoke conditions in warehouses, businesses and schools.