FIREFIGHTING

In the early years, almost every able-bodied man helped the fire department in one way or another. Volunteers may or may not have had gear and they learned by experience. Today, training is a priority and both gear and training is regulated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In 1949, new firefighters were assigned a long coat, hip boots, helmet and striped cotton gloves; there were no air masks. A new firefighter now receives a helmet, leather boots, coat, and bunkers, and gloves as well as a personal air mask.

Each firefighter is trained in firefighting, extrication, water rescue, forcible entry, carbon monoxide (CO) and gas detection instruments, and hazardous material identification and mitigation. Many are Emergency Medical Technicians whether they are at the Basic or Paramedic level. Each firefighter is also encouraged to learn the specialized training that is available to them. Firefighters have also been trained in other specialized fields to help with specific emergencies. Many firefighters have specialized and high-tech training backgrounds in various work fields, and are able to bring that knowledge to an emergency scene.

At least one new recruit class is held every year as well as the Basic Operations Firefighter Certification Class. Training continues every week with drill night and other specialized trainings. All firefighters are trained in CPR and must maintain current certification.

FIRE INVESTIGATIONS

The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office mandates that all fires are investigated for cause and origin. The department has a team of state-certified investigators ready to respond. The IL State Fire Marshal’s Fire Investigator is also requested on any suspicious fires, on any high dollar fires, where anyone is injured, or in the event of a fatality.

DISPATCHING

In the early years, if you had an emergency in the Harlem-Roscoe Fire District you dialed 3-4341 to get help. It was a party line and would ring into the fire station, and the home of the Fire Chief as well as a few of the firefighters’ homes or businesses. The siren could be set off at the fire station and a couple of the Chiefs had a button at their home or business. The first firefighter to the fire station would write where the fire was on a black board such as fire at Brown Farm.

Harlem-Roscoe Fire today has Dispatchers on duty 24/7 at their Dispatch Center located in their Fire Station #1. It has the latest advancements in dispatching, computerized equipment and software. A computerized mapping program shows the dispatcher where every fire hydrant is located in the district as well as business floor plans and information such as hazards. The dispatcher also sends the address via a group text to firefighter’s cell phones. And before responding, the volunteer firefighters can send a text to dispatch showing them on a monitor who is responding.

PHOTOS THROUGH THE YEARS

The department's first fire photographer, Sheryl Drost, started taking photos for the department in 1990 and was officially sworn in on the department in 1997. In 2010, a second photographer position was added. Today the department also has two Chaplains that help (Chief Shoevlin calls them Chapographers) and there are also cameras in the Command vehicles. The photographers respond staight to the scene and are able to get many first-in fire pictures. Here are some of those first-in pictures as well as some early fires captured by the news media.

A 'fire tornado' during a live burn training - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

February 15, 1959 - Flying Dutchman Stables in Roscoe

 

February 14, 1958 - Main St. Structure Fire

June 1978 - Aryle Mill Fire

 

1958 Structure Fire

1979 Baldwin Dr. House Fire

 

February 20, 1991 - Prairie Hill Rd. Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

May 23, 1991 - Manchester Rd. House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

May 22, 1994 - Free Church Rd. House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

February 19, 1997 - Edgemere Terr. House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

March 18, 1998 - Harnish Rd. Barn Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

May 6, 1998 Palmer Rd. Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

July 13, 1998 - North Creek Rd. Barn Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

September 9, 1998 - McCurry Rd. Commercial Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

January 24, 1999 - Burr Oak Rd. Chimney Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

November 10, 1999 - Harlem High School Roof Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

September 9, 2000 - Parkway Drive Apartment Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

June 17, 2001 - I-90 Motor Home Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

July 22, 2001 - I-90 Car Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

September 2, 2001 - Commercial Junk Yard Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

September 24, 2001 - Product Dr. Commercial Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

October 8, 2001 - Hwy 173 Corn Bin Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

December 24, 2001 Fulmar Dr. Truck Fires - Photo by Sheryl Drost

April 22, 2002 - I-90 Truck Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

September 26,2002 - I-90 Camper Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

February 01, 2003 - Sheringham Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

March 15, 2003 - Chicory Ridge Way House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

October 18, 2003 - Patti Lane Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

March 19, 2004 - Kinnikinnick Dr. House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

October 5, 2004 - Edison Rd. House Fire - Photo by Chief Presley

 

February 4, 2005 - Waste Management Garage Trucks Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

April 24, 2005 - Stateline Rd. Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

June 29, 2005 Glen Forest Dr. Mobile Home Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

January 19, 2006 - Truck Fire at Gas Station - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

August 27, 2006 - Thickett Trail Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

November 09, 2006 - Love Rd. House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

January 14, 2007 - Renee Dr. House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

July 30, 2007 - Hwy 173 Strip Mall Roof Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

April 11, 2008 - I-90 Car Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

January 15, 2009 - Product Dr. Commercial Building Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

January 10, 2010 - Waidi Ave. Garage Fire - Photo by Charlotte Alms

March 16, 2010 - Heartwood Ln. Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

May 3, 2010 - Stamford Ln. House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

July 1, 2010 - Mark Dr. House Fire - Photo by Marcia Soppe

 

September 27, 2010 - Glen Forest Dr. Mobile Home Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

December 21, 10 - Snowmobile Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

February 14, 2011 Nesting Eagles House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

March 11, 2012 - Queen Oaks Dr. House Fire - Photo by Marcia Soppe

 

April 09, 2012 Vaughndale Dr - House Fire - Photos by Marcia Soppe and Sheryl Drost

 

May 18, 2012 - Jennie Dr. Garage Fire - Photo by Marcia Soppe

July 12, 2012 - Hwy 173 Barn Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

September 13, 2012 - Adele St. Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

January 22, 2013 - Frito Lay Truck Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

June 4, 2013 - McCurdy Rd. Car Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

June 10, 2013 - Coopers Hawk Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

June 25, 2013 - Elevator Rd. Car Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

December 18, 2013 - Whispering Winds Dr. Garage Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

July 24. 2014 - Montclair Rd. Motor Home Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

November 24, 2014 - Krupke Rd. Barn Fire - Photo by Everett Peterson

 

January 2, 2015 - Hwy 173 Barn Fire - photo by Sheryl Drost

April 25, 2015 - Product Dr. Commercial Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

 

September 26. 2015 - Prairie Hill Rd. car fire- Photo by Harold Danger

November 6, 2015 - Elevator Rd. House Fire - Photo by Sheryl Drost

Click here for more photos