Chicago Aging Equipment Putting Firefighters At Risk

Chicago ABC7 news investigates into the Chicago Fire Department why they are using nearly thirty to forty year old equipment on the front line. Their investigation found massive equipment failure and equipment that just isn’t safe. Read the article below by Chicago ABC7 news and watch the video above for more info. Stay safe!

“The I-Team is investigating major equipment that Chicago firefighters say is so old it puts them and the public at risk.

They are startling figures: 40 percent of the city’s fire department engines and ladder trucks are too old for safe front-line use, according to industry standards. And within a year, that fire hazard will significantly increase.

 The I-Team uncovered one of the worst cases: a busy Chicago firehouse with equipment from 1985, 31 years old. Firefighters say this slows down response times and puts lives in danger.

Tower Ladder 34 rolls out of this Southeast Side fire house heading for action. But city records show this rig is 31 years old, actually obsolete.

“It’s an antique, it’s out of date, it’s just not the equipment we should be using in a city like Chicago,” said Andre Pennix, a retired CFD Battalion Chief.

Pennix and J. Paramore are retired Chicago Fire Department battalion chiefs who worked in this fire district and counted on Tower Ladder 34 to save lives in emergencies. They say this apparatus and its fixed ladder are crucial to help rescue people trapped on upper floors and prevent massive fires from spreading.

“The particular rig that they’re using right now is a spare of a spare which is 31 years old,” Paramore said.

“So many times it has happened that the rig didn’t even get out of the firehouse, you’re dead in the water,” Pennix said.

The I-Team uncovered a history of serious problems with the equipment assigned as Tower Ladder 34: page after page of repair documents showing hydraulic fluid and radiator leaks, a broken horn that “will not crank” and “won’t stay running”, and even from just last month “oil pouring out of motor — massive mech(anical) failure.” CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE HERE


Here is an image of the new Chicago Tower Ladder 34 an old Tower Ladder 34

New Tower Ladder 34

Old Tower Ladder 34


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