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Quick Takes: March 7, 2011.

More video from Chicago motel fire: We showed you news video Saturday of this fire at the Saville Motel in Stony Island. The fire left seven citizens and a firefighter injured. Our friend Steve Redick has daylight video of this fire. Click here.

A story that is more than just a drunk guy behind the steering wheel of an out-of-service fire engine: The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says the driver of the fire engine was a volunteer firefighter with the Hamilton VFD who forced a deputy to head for a ditch early Saturday morning to avoid the speeding rig. But it is the passengers that make this story even more interesting. They are all volunteers in Loudoun County (or were, since the driver and two of them have since resigned). They include a 19-year-old woman, an off-duty Leesburg cop and two men who are in positions of authority in the county fire service. According to news reports all had been drinking. Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Chief W. Keith Brower, Jr. and Fire-Rescue Commission Chair Douglas G. Rambo briefed reporters on the unpleasant details yesterday afternoon. Here is our coverage from Sunday.

Born from RIT: I asked a new advertiser to write a guest column on his interesting product. Greg Turnell, a lieutenant in DC, invented TURK, a cart that has a number of applications, but was built to help firefighters transport all the required RIT gear to the fireground without killing yourself. Clck here to learn more

Antique of the Week, rig hit in Massachusetts, Ohio rollover & a lot of news: Glenn Usdin goes back almost 75 years for the rig featured in the video for the latest Antique of the Week. Click here. Of course there is lots more apparatus news from  

Three Cleveland firefighters struck, man arrested: It happened Sunday morning on I-480 and two of the firefighters remain hospitalized. According to WKYC-TV, ”one firefighter suffered a lacerated kidney and rib injuries. The other fireman has significant lower body injuries and underwent surgery Sunday afternoon.” Here’s more.

A bad bill or just bad reporting?: I don’t know the answer for sure, but my hunch is a politician’s exaggeration of the problem and the failure to read the bill by reporters has people believing they are going to ban all photography within 500 feet of a crash scene in Illinois. I could be totally wrong, but my read from far away shows it is nothing of the sort. Check it out and tell me what you think.

A trip to EMS Today is already saving lives: Mike Ward over at Firegeezer has a wonderful story about two people we spent part of Thursday night with (no, not Rhett and Willie, yet). Take a look at how these paramedics got a free breakfast on their way home from Baltimore.

Now it’s Rhett and Willie time: Both and have rundowns from the JEMS & Meet-up sponsored by Physio Control Thursday night. The good news is I was able to get to some quality time in with the Roanoke crew during dinner. I even took some video of Rhett and Willie screening the movie that debuted on while they were driving to Baltimore. In case you missed it, the movie was a dramatization of the dinner before it even happened. Click here to watch it. Rhett seemed so pleased by it all he paid for the meal. And I thought he hated me. Here’s Rhett’s report from Baltimore and here’s Willie’s.

Firefighter spots burglary in progress: A firefighter watched as a man broke into a store across the street from a firehouse in Hooksett, New Hampshire. The firefighter’s call to police brought a quick arrest of a burglar. Here’s the story.

Chicago firefighter in classic photo retires: It is a photo of more than 30-years-ago that many of you will recognize. It shows Firefighter John Steinmetz, just two years on the job in Chicago, holding the body of a girl in the fourth floor window of a burning apartment building trying to get help. Yesterday Captain John Steinmetz was honored as he arrived for his final shift before retiring. Read the story.

Comments - Add Yours

  • Shadow

    I must comment the Chicago Fire Department for all the work they do…however this video illustrates a serious fire service problem. In watching the video I was suprised the number of fire fighters who were in smoke with no air paks ON. In fact you know the stuff was bad as at least one FF pulled is hood over his nose and mouth. Also FF were not wearing eye protection.

    I know our jobs are dangerious but why can’t we follow the simple rules of wearing PPE. Most if not all FF had SCBAs but the number of them were in rooms or were walking in smoke area was apauling. Please think before we enter these IDLH areas.

  • RESCUE 1

    SHADOW….. this video just proves to me, that no matter what dept. you ‘re from ie;CFD,FDNY,etc…. We(f/f’s) do STUPID things…. I was also disturbed by the firefigters on the roof with no packs on!!!! WTF GUYS!!! Haven’t we learned anything from past TRAGEDIES?!!!

  • 2w5

    The roof crews not using air some with no pack on… of my… sad. Glad all made it home but ?? what about next time.. ???

  • Andrew

    Re: Capt Steinmetz… for those of us not from Chicago, what is a “Chicago bar”? Tried Googling it (Chicago bar, Chicago bar tool, firefighter’s Chicago bar, etc) but kept getting pictures of pubs, taverns, and other similar establishments. I know the big-city FDs all drink like fish ;-) but still, I can’t see them carrying watering holes around with them.

    I’m guessing similar to a Halligan?

  • FED UP

    WOW, you people (Commenting) are out of control. Please go back to the BillyG seminar you just left.

    The fire was all above them. No airpacks on the roof? Maybe they should be walking around on the roof with a mask over their face, helping tunnel vision out a little bit, oh and let’s not forget the whole 30lbs on your back, throwing off their balance.

    I bet all off you are breathing air when you get off the Tanker that you took to the fire. It’s okay though, think about this. For once, you have a first due fire (calm down, I’m just getting started), as you are trying not to scream into the radio, you put your SCBA on and start sucking down your supply (since you are a “little” obese) and you get into the house, make it to the back of the dwelling where the fire may or not be. Then, BAM! You fall into the basement and are trapped. I will tell you this, each PSI of air your big butt sucked down before you made it to the fire room is GONE and you will be missing it when you suck that mask to your face waiting on someone to come get you. Might take a while since they are killing a half of a bottle in the front yard too.

    Sorry to be so harsh but you people kill me. I’ve been around this for a long time and I know your type. You feed into the latest and greatest, and drop things like EGH between reading the secret list and irioning your hawaiian shirts.

  • Reality

    Gimme a break! Why dont you safety nazis sit back and think about what is going on in these videos and make an informed comment instead of speawing some garbage that you read in a damn book. These companies were engaged in a prolonged operation, fighting fire in small hotel rooms that were probably no more then 12 feet deep. The rooms appeared to be well ventilated. If you have to pull your hood up for the 15 seconds it takes to take the window I dont see this as a need to mask up. They were forcing multiple exposure rooms and trying to get ahead of the fire. All the while operating on a narrow walkway littered with hose lines and tools. The decreased visibility and added cardiovascular strain of being on air would have made things much more dangerous for these crews. Speed and efficency is safer then cumbersome over protection. The fire was above them and well ventilated through the roof…hummmm how did that get accomplished? How about by the quick work of thoes dangerous truckies up on the roof. Thoes guys got up there quick and were working their asses off. The reduction of balance, reduced visibilty, added weight, and increased cardiovascular demand that wearing scba would done would have completely outweighed the positive. You can quote to me about carinogens all you want, but these guys are taking no more smoke then your average wildland crew takes in a few hours on the line. There are definately times when being on air is an absolute necessity. But you should conserve that air and that exposure to the side effects of being on air. The increased heart rate, bloodpressure and fatigue that comes from being on air should be addressed. Firemen die from cardiac related injuries all the time…mabey we should be looking into how to do your jobs smarter not harder. Experience teaches you these things….not books. These highly experienced fireman know the advantage of speed and efficency and how to manage risk vs reward. Get off your high horses….your showing how out of touch you really all are.

    • CBEMT

      If you’re trying to suggest that a wildland crew is breathing the same smoke as a Chicago crew in a hotel with burning plastics and furniture, there’s no point in discussing it any further- you’re just clueless.

  • Pete

    I applaud the Chicago F.D. The things they do for the fire service are tremendous. LOOK at the fire. The hoselines in use will NOT control it. If the life hazard has been controlled, just sit back, get the guys and girls off the roof, and put alot of water on it. Don’t kill yourself for a piece of property.

    • Sean


      Did you just say, “exposure to the side effects of being on air?” Thank you. We are all a lot dumber now that we have read that.