Residents Get Insider's View of Evanston Fire Department

A 12-hour 'Tweet along' Friday let followers see pictures and hear updates on what department staff do during their shifts.

Evanston firefighters treated Twitter followers to Followers learned, for example, that firefighters pay part of the grocery bills for their shift meals, and got to see photos of the inside of a truck and the obligatory firefighter sliding down the station poll.

The goal of the 5-Alarm Tweet Along was to introduce residents to their firefighters and allow them to interact with the department staff. There wasn’t a ton of interaction as of early evening, but at least one firefighter dad tweeted in to say hello.

As of early evening, there also weren’t any blazes or major accidents that the department rushed off to. Instead, followers got a glimpse into the every day activities of the staff.

Here’s a sampling of some of the Tweets:

Possible fire, call come in at ~7:56am. Guys gear up & check home in question. Alarm was set off by kitchen smoke. pic.twitter.com/5QOVGTf7

Firefighters not only prepare their meals but also pay a preset amount out of pocket for groceries for every shift they work.

FF/MD Trippi doing pull-ups & Capt. Perrino hitting the elliptical. Have to stay in shape & prepared. #Evanston5Alarm pic.twitter.com/NaIdFlmB

This is not the city’s first Tweet along. The police department hosted one in November and Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl held one in February. In all cases, the messages were hosted on the @CityofEvanston Twitter feed.

Are you a Twitter addict? You should follow us @EvanstonPatch. Our Facebook page is pretty swell, too.

Richard Schulte July 28, 2012 at 03:37 PM
The major cause of fire fighter fatalities is heart attacks? Nothing above about the fitness routine of fire fighters. Many fires can be prevented through fire prevention inspections and the spread and impact of fire can also be minimized through fire prevention inspections. Nothing above about fire prevention activities that the suppression personnel are involved with. How many fire safety code violations were written on that day? When I lived in Evanston and walked around, I saw fire safety code violations all around. What is the fire department doing to address these code violations?
annie July 28, 2012 at 06:53 PM
How negative can one person be? blah, blah, blah! Did you notify the Fire Chief about all "those code violations" that you "saw" in writing, so he could address the issue? And now that you are gone.....whats your point?
Richard Schulte July 28, 2012 at 07:22 PM
annie: "Did you notify the Fire Chief about all "those code violations" that you "saw" in writing, so he could address the issue?" Yes, in writing. Would you like to see the letter? I would be more than happy to point the violations out to the EFD for a fee. (You don't work for free and either do I.) I've been available to the EFD for the last 24 years, but the EFD never contacted me for technical assistance after Chief Linkowski left the Department over 15 years ago. annie: And now that you are gone.....whats your point? Fire safety violations in buildings could result in injury or death which could be prevented. I assume that since you are so worried about people being able to cross the street, that you would also worried about death and injury caused by fire. If the Evanston Fire Department isn't doing its job, then it's a concern to everyone who lives in Evanston and everyone who visits Evanston. I paid property taxes in Evanston for over 20 years and expect that the municipal government to do its job. The Evanston Fire Department hasn't been doing its job with respect to the enforcement of the Fire Prevention Code adopted by the City of Evanston. Any other questions annie?
FT July 29, 2012 at 02:25 PM
mr. schulte U sound like the kind of guy that can witness a traffic accident with injuries & wait for 1 of the victims to offer U payment before U would call 911! I'm sure that U would never run into a burning building to rescue anybody unless there was a bonus in it for U. Well, I know that ALL firefighters would NEVER hesitate because it's what they ALL train for & it's part of their chosen profession! So why don't U go hide behide a bush the next time U see a PROFESSIONAL firefighter doing what they are trained to do!
Richard Schulte July 29, 2012 at 02:56 PM
FT: "I'm sure that U would never run into a burning building to rescue anybody unless there was a bonus in it for U. Well, I know that ALL firefighters would NEVER hesitate because it's what they ALL train for & it's part of their chosen profession! So why don't U go hide behide a bush the next time U see a PROFESSIONAL firefighter doing what they are trained to do!" Mr. Schulte was a member of the San Jose (California) Fire Department from 1980 to 1982. Mr. Schulte is an expert on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Mr. Schulte was also an expert witness in Federal Court in the litigation know as McAuslin v. Grinnell, regarding the fire which destroyed the 1 million square foot New Orleans Distribution Center (NODC) in 1996. In addition, Mr. Schulte provided information on the Innocence Project expert, Dr. Craig Beyler, to the Texas Forensic Science Commission. (The executive director of the Innocence Project is Barry Scheck-one of OJ Simpson's attorney in the murder trial of Nicole Brown Simpson.) Not to mention that Mr. Schulte taught classes on the building/fire code for the Evanston Fire Department when Chief Tom Linkowski was the Evanston Fire Marshal. If you would like to read more about Mr. Schulte's exploits in building fire protection, the following websites may be of interest: http://www.innocenceproject.org/docs/willingham/L_fm_Richard_Shulte_082510.pdf http://enr.construction.com/features/buildings/archives/040607-1.asp
Richard Schulte July 29, 2012 at 03:01 PM
FT: "I'm sure that U would never run into a burning building to rescue anybody unless there was a bonus in it for U. Well, I know that ALL firefighters would NEVER hesitate because it's what they ALL train for & it's part of their chosen profession! So why don't U go hide behide a bush the next time U see a PROFESSIONAL firefighter doing what they are trained to do!" For such a brave person, why is it that you have to hide behind a moniker FT? Someone who claims to be so heroic wouldn't hide behind a moniker and make a comment like the one above. You will note that I use my full name-I'm not afraid to stand behind my opinions either on Patch or in Federal Court. It's my opinion that Sarah Palin has more cajones than FT.
FT July 29, 2012 at 03:15 PM
The only thing I'd like to see in schulte put on the 50+ lbs. of fire equipment that every firefighter has to wear PLUS 50 ft. of hose & carry it up multiple flights of stairs to put out a fire. As U review the jobs that schulte has done I hope U notice it's all "book learning" not any practicle fire fighting experience, & he only does it for payment. I bet he has somebody else light his Bar-B-Q grill for a cookout. He should also review that Evanston has 60% of their calls are by ambulances. He also has not mentioned that EVERY Evanston firefighter is also a PARAMEDIC. I wonder when was the last time schulte gave anybody life saving care? I have been riding fire trucks for over 50 years & have seen many different fire departments. I am proud to live in Evanston because it is one of the MOST PROFESSIONAL departments that I have ever seen & the most dedicated group of men & women show up every day to do what that have been trained to do! Hey richard why don't U put away those expensive books U read to collect those high fees & buy a firecoat & boots & try & do what these men & women do every day 24/7 365 days a week!
FT July 29, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I'm sure U noticed the 365 days a week & realize it should have been 24/4 365 days/year. Sorry for the typo.
Richard Schulte July 29, 2012 at 03:37 PM
FT, why am I not impressed by your post? Once again, FT hides behind a moniker to "bad mouth" someone. The work on the World Trade Center towers collapse was donated time. Similarly, the work on the Willingham residence fire in Texas was donated time. My work in building/fire code development is donated time. And my work inspecting Evanston Hospital with Fire Marshal Tom Linkowski was donated time, although Tom did buy me lunch once. Oh, and Chief Berkowsky bought me lunch once too. And let's be honest with everyone, professional fire fighters are well paid for their work. Professional fire fighters are not volunteer fire fighters. In fact, professional fire fighters are always complaining about how little they get paid. Professional fire figthers wouldn't be going into buildings if they weren't getting paid. It probably would be a good idea for Patch to take a look at the retirement system for fire figthers. When I was with the SJFD, the retirement deal was 50 percent of the highest pay for 20 years and 75 percent of the highest pay for 30 years. Of course, in the last year fire fighters always find a way to inflate their pay with overtime to inflate their retirement. And now you know why cities in the State of California such as Vallejo, Stockton, San Bernadino are declaring bankruptcy. They can't afford the pensions. Yes, professional fire figthers are heroic people who are always complaining and talking about striking.
Frank July 29, 2012 at 03:53 PM
FT, don't wast your time with this guy. Richie is very intelligent and likes to argue and have the last word. It will never end. He could be the debate champion of the world because he has spent so much time debating everything that he has become quite good at it. He obviously is very frustrated and has a lot of time on his hands. The only thing he does on here is annoy people. We are just a bunch of dumb liberals in Evanston in his opinion.
Richard Schulte July 29, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Perhaps it's time to have a discussion of the retirement benefits for fire fighters. I keep hearing reports about fire fighters making $150 thousand to $300 thousand a year in California. Of course, those salaries inflate the retirement benefits. It's reasonable to assume that that's at least part of the reason why cities in California are declaring bankruptcy. A municipality near Mobile, Alabama simply stopped paying retirement benefits to it's former employees. It came down to a choice between keeping the street lights on at night or paying retirement benefits. It's called "the law of intended consequences". Be careful of what you ask for, you might get it. Now that FT brought up the compensation of fire fighters in Evanston, perhaps it's time for an investigation into fire fighter compensation and retirement benefits. Remember what happened to the teachers in Wisconsin-maybe you should have kept your mouth shut FT.
FT July 29, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Well schulte I will admit that U can do one thing well & that's cut & paste! I will take the advice of one who seems to know U very well & stop wasting my time with someone who only believes in 1 opinion....HIS! Bye Bye & enjoy chatting with one.....U!
annie July 29, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Well, the article isn't about retirement benefits, its more about the City of Evanston having a "Tweet Along". And I think its a great idea, please keep doing it, and to the Police & Fire Depts, you do a GREAT job, along with all City of Evanston employees. You keep the rest of us going. And I do agree with Frank's comments, along with FT's comments.
Richard Schulte July 29, 2012 at 07:54 PM
All of a sudden FT is getting shy and doesn't want to talk about fire fighter pensions. Hmmm, I wonder why? Perhaps Patch will look into the pensions or maybe the Daily Northwestern. Can't get much more inside the Evanston Fire Department than to talk about how much the fire department pensions are costing the taxpayers of Evanston. If you want to know why your property taxes are so high and why it cost $8 to go on the beach, the City of Evanston employee pensions are the place to look for an explanation.
FT July 29, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Richard Schulte July 29, 2012 at 10:10 PM
FT: *********************************MOVE*****************************!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Consider it done. I relocated to Florida a little over 2 months ago. The state income tax is 0 percent and the sales than is 7.5 percent. The housing costs are about one-half of that in Evanston and the food costs are about 30 percent less. Gasoline is 75 cents per gallon cheaper and the people who live here are really nice, not obnoxious like in Evanston. Oh yeah, the property taxes are really low here too. Everybody is leaving Illinois because of the Quinn income tax increase. Three cars with Illinois plates in the parking lot at the apartment complex here in Florida. When everybody leaves, there goes your pension. Not sure why things are so much cheaper in Florida-might have something to do with the crooked politicians in the County of Crook. Chicago and the State of Illinois are bankrupt-you know what that means.
annie July 30, 2012 at 12:28 AM
This article is only about the tweet....duh!
Richard Schulte July 30, 2012 at 11:22 AM
"So, from now on, don't play the politically correct game. Throw it right back at them. It's violent, offensive, repulsive, intrusive, racist, bigoted, intolerant, or divisive. It sets a bad example for the young, it violates our rights, and it threatens not only a civil society, but a free society as well." Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/how_to_fight_democrat_intimidation.html#ixzz226UqeIHu TEA. Thumbs up.
Richard Schulte July 30, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Since FT doesn't want to talk about retirement benefits for municipal workers, let a Federal Judge do the talking: "A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday cleared the way for Stockton, California to cut health care benefits for retirees while it is in bankruptcy proceedings. Stockton is seeking Chapter 9 protection from its creditors and said that it would cut retiree health benefits while it reorganizes. Retired employees sued to stop those cuts. Judge Christopher Klein on Friday issued a temporary order denying the bid to stop the benefit cuts, and he said a formal decision was on its way." http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2012/07/30/federal_bankruptcy_court_lets_stockton_california_cut_retiree_health_care_benefits_flood_of_city_bankruptcies_coming/page/full/ Will Evanston soon declare bankruptcy to cut municipal employee costs? It's something to consider. I'm sure the citizens of Evanston appreciate FT opening up a discussion on municipal employee retiree benefits. Thumbs up FT.
fishman August 02, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Richard Schulte August 02, 2012 at 04:33 PM
San Bernadino files for bankruptcy. Perhaps it's time for Evanston to look into declaring bankruptcy too so that it can cut public employee retirement costs. "http://www.gopusa.com/news/2012/08/02/san-bernardino-files-emergency-bankruptcy-petition/?subscriber=1"
Richard Schulte August 02, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Excellent video. The #1 problem, retirees benefits, just like in San Bernadino and Stockton, California. Once again, thanks to FT for bringing up the subject with his harangue above. The next time you're on duty FT, just remember, you aren't going to get what you were promised. Evanston taxpayers can't afford you FT.
Richard Schulte August 06, 2012 at 11:03 PM
FT, another article about public employee retirement benefits: "Miami City Manager Johnny Martinez declared a state of financial urgency Friday for the fourth year in a row. The move gives the city commission authority to restructure its existing contracts with police, general employee, and fire unions. City commissioners agreed to not hike taxes in a budget meeting Thursday night, but instead will look to close a budget gap of tens of millions through union concessions. The $485 million budget must be balanced by September. "The unions are not cooperating with the process," Mayor Tomas Regalado told the Miami Herald. "We need to have a balanced budget." Martinez said in a statement that the city will be contacting union representatives to start up two weeks of negotiations. The declaration of urgency has likely incensed police and fire officials; according to Reuters, the latter group argued before city officials Thursday night that their pay has been cut 35 percent in the last 3 years already." http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2012/08/06/union_pay_benefits_create_zombie_cities FT, once again, thank you for brining up the subject about pension benefits.
Richard Schulte August 09, 2012 at 10:42 PM
FT, a little more on the public employee pension scam: "In New York, a 2010 investigation by then-attorney general Andrew Cuomo, now governor, found widespread incidence of "pension padding" - public employees working extra overtime in their last year on the job to boost pay and retirement income. That's especially costly when it comes to well-paid public safety workers. The Manhattan Institute estimates nearly 10 percent of New York State cops and firefighters who retired in 2011 will receive six-figure pensions, from 2 percent in 2001." Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-usa-pensions-policeandfire-idUSBRE86S02120120729
Richard Schulte August 09, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Some more news on public employee pensions: "Dozens of Detroit police officers swapped their side arms for picket signs Thursday as they marched around City Hall to protest a new contract and pay cut imposed on them by Mayor Dave Bing." "The city did not negotiate with the unions on the new contracts, which cut wages by 10 percent and require employees to pay 20 percent of their medical costs. Other previously bargained perks including bonus vacation days and annual increases to retirement plans have been eliminated. Hundreds of workers also will be laid off. Bing has said the cuts and other changes, which are expected to take effect in a few weeks, will save the city more than $100 million." Source: http://www.gopusa.com/news/2012/07/27/detroit-city-workers-protest-10-percent-pay-cut/?subscriber=1


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