Park Forest Fire Department Activity Report: March 26 – April 1, 2017

fire department assists in Chicago Heights
Park Forest firefighters with a structure fire in Chicago Heights on March 27. (Photo: PFFD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Park Forest Fire Department issued the following report on activity from March 26 through April 1, 2017.

During that week, the department responded to 82 calls for service: 15 were for fire/service, 67 were EMS calls.

Response Activity

On Sunday, March 26, crews responded to the 200 block of Allegheny Street for a reported structure fire. Units arrived to find a boarded up 2-story Cape Cod style home with the side door forced open and fire on the first floor. Units from Park Forest, Matteson, Richton Park, South Chicago Heights and University Park quickly extinguished this fire and performed overhaul to make sure there were no hidden fires. The attack on this fire was slowed by the previously in place board up on this single family home. The basic cause an origin investigation determined this fire was incendiary in nature. Further investigation of this potential crime was turned over to the Park Forest Police Department. A board up service was requested to re-secure the fire house as well as the door to the vacant home next door which was determined to have been forced open as well.

Approximately 5-hours later, on Sunday evening, units from the Park Forest Fire Department, assisted by Matteson, Richton Park, South Chicago Heights and University Park, were again dispatched to the 200 block of Allegheny Street for a reported structure fire. This fire was reported next door to the earlier fire incident; the home where the door had been boarded up prior to units leaving the area. Units arrived to find, and quickly extinguish, a small fire in the front bedroom of the Cape Cod style single family home. An investigation determined a window had been broken to provide access to the bedroom space. This fire was also turned over to Park Forest Police Department for further investigation. A board-up service was requested to secure the entire first floor of this structure to prevent a repeat of this incident.

Early the next morning, the ambulance was dispatched to the 20000 block of Central Park Avenue for a gunshot victim. Upon arrival it was determined paramedics could do nothing to assist this victim as he had already passed due to extensive trauma and bleeding. This response was part of a 17 response day by this duty shift, including multiple double and triple responses.

On Monday afternoon, March 27, crew members responded to assist Chicago Heights with structure fire as part of a box alarm request. Units assisted in extinguishing and overhaul of two properties on Portland Avenue involved in the fire.

Thursday’s heavy rains did not result in any notable emergencies; however, they did have on impact on emergency responses. During the heavy rains, responses are slowed for safety reasons due to limited visibility. After the storms, responses were rerouted due to a flooded viaduct along Governor’s Highway. This blockage caused ambulances to take alternate routes to Olympia Fields Hospital and the resultant traffic issues also slowed response and travel times as others were redirected around the street closure.

Submerged Vehicle

On Friday, one diver from the fire department responded to a box alarm request in Homewood for a car in the lake at 183rd and Governor’s Highway. Homewood personnel had already removed one individual from the auto and divers confirmed no other persons were inside of the now submerged vehicle. Divers also assisted in attaching the tow cable to the vehicle, so it could be removed from the water.

Training Activities

On Monday, March 27, shift members completed training on cardiac emergencies and CPR.

Tuesday, March 28 thru Thursday, March 30, shift members trained on pre-connected attack lines. This training included each member being tested on how to deploy and pack the triple load hose used by our department.

On Friday, March 31, career members participated in a combined, evening training session with Paid on Call division members which included live fire scenarios.

Other Activities

On Friday, the Fire Chief attended a meeting at Village Hall to discuss options and possibilities related to alternative fuel vehicles and the fleet for the Village of Park Forest. This meeting discussed the upcoming availability of compressed natural gas as a possible fuel agent, grant opportunities and other possible strategies to move towards alternative fuels. Additional information will be forthcoming as multiple departments are looking at the possibilities of alternative fuels.

The department was able to sell its retired self-contained breathing apparatus, which had been replaced with recent grant award equipment, to the Kankakee Area Career Center. While the sum of the sale was not large, this equipment will be going to a valuable organization to train future firefighters. The lead was obtained when the department sold a variety of surplus equipment at a recent swap meet in Peotone.

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