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Emergency calls, donations, training discussed by volunteer firefighters

This 1988 Ford medium-duty rescue truck, which served the Tonica Volunteer Fire Department for the past 30 years, has been sold, Chief Al Stremlau reported. It was replaced by a new unit earlier this year.
This 1988 Ford medium-duty rescue truck, which served the Tonica Volunteer Fire Department for the past 30 years, has been sold, Chief Al Stremlau reported. It was replaced by a new unit earlier this year.

TONICA — Tonica Fire Chief Al Stremlau reported there were 17 emergency calls during September. There were no fire calls, one accident call, 14 ambulance requests, one automatic alarm and two hazardous condition investigations. There have been 119 calls for the year.

Treasurer Sue Huss noted that a significant monetary donation was received from Elaine Ford. Huss also reported on the success of the various Tonica Volunteer Fire Department fundraisers that were held during the Tonica Fest.

A grant was received from Compeer Financial covering the cost of a rescue winch that will be mounted on the new rescue truck, protective gloves used for extrication operations, additional hazardous materials training material and a new forcible entry rescue tool.

The annual request for donations will be mailed to residences within the village limits of Tonica. These donations help the department provide fire, ambulance and rescue services without property taxation.

The current ambulance is 20 years old. The department is starting to look at various options that are available to replace and upgrade the current medical unit.

Chief Stremlau announced that Tonica has received a new ISO Public Protection Classification of 5/10. Tonica’s previous rating was a Class 6. This is an improvement from the previous rating that is applied to structures within five road miles of the fire station. The rating is a compilation of credits given by this outside agency for emergency communications, the fire department and also water system supply. This improvement may have a positive effect on property insurance premiums.

The membership agreed to continue the tradition of TVFD hosting a chili supper and deer hunter display evening on Saturday, Nov. 23. Firefighter Dave Huss will be the chairman of this fundraiser.

Additional interior work has been completed on the new storage shed annexation by members of the TVFD.

A thank you was received from Ronald McDonald House Charities for a donation that was made by the TVFD members.

Chief Stremlau noted that the old rescue truck has been sold.

Additional shelving has been ordered for the new rescue truck.

Fire rescue trainings during September covered the following:

• Hose testing, hose loads and nozzle checks.

• A live fire training covering various offensive and defensive firefighting operations was conducted in Tonica with firefighters from the following mutual aid departments: Oglesby, Leonore, Peru and Cedar Point.

• Additional pump trainings were conducted with Pumper-Tanker 1716 and Pumper 1714.

• Officer Lead Squad Trainings: Command and Control, Leadership, Communications and Organizational Skills were used for the Review and Operation of Apparatus and Equipment.

• Firefighter Charlie Burke completed Skywarn Spotter Training.

• Tom and Carla Goskusky performed maintenance work on the TVFD Station flag poles.

Deputy Chief Rick Turri attended a training class that covered the DOT/ISP inspection of trucks. The training was conducted by the Illinois State Police.

Commercial motor vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds must undergo annual DOT inspections. If these vehicles are involved in an accident, an additional safety inspection may be performed by an ISP officer. Some of the items that are reviewed are proper driver’s license, driver’s daily log and hours of service, driver and vehicle inspection report, medical card and waiver, alcohol and/or drugs and hazmat requirements.

Inspections also verify that all required safety equipment and all mechanical devices are operational and in good order.

This information is used by the TVFD for fire truck driver training.

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