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Thread: Illinois Firefighter Killed In Accident 'Loved His Job'

  1. #1
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    Illinois Firefighter Killed In Accident 'Loved His Job'

    Illinois Firefighter Killed In Accident 'Loved His Job'
    Another Victim Reportedly Remains In Critical Condition


    Purple bunting draped the Stone Park Fire Department building Wednesday, in honor of a firefighter killed in a crash between two fire trucks Tuesday. The collision happened at the intersection of Mannheim Road and Armitage, on the border of North Lake and Melrose Park, around 6 p.m., as both trucks headed for a garage fire.

    Firefighter Jeffrey Bergstrom, 34, was killed in the crash. Another firefighter remained hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday.

    Stone Park Police Officer Andrew Morales was the second officer to arrive at the scene of the crash. He told NBC5's Anita Padilla that he stood by Bergstrom in his final moments.

    "He was breathing," Morales tearfully recalled. "But then there was nothing else I could do, and nothing else anybody else could do."

    Morales told Padilla that firefighters were trapped inside the wreckage.

    "Another one we tried to get out -- we bent the roof back as far as we could," Morales said. "We tried to bend the door back, but his leg was pinned."

    Morales recalled pulling the driver of one of the trucks out of the wreckage, then going to Bergstrom's side.

    "Very outgoing guy, very happy," Morales said about Bergstrom, whom he knew before the accident. "He loved his job. Pretty much like everybody else, he loved doing what he did, serving and protecting."

    Padilla said Bergstrom worked full time for the Chicago Fire Department, where he was a paramedic, and worked part time as a firefighter in Stone Park.

    The firefighter who was in critical condition was at Loyola Medical Center, Padilla said, but she was unable to get updated information about his condition.

    A third firefighter who was injured in the accident was treated and released from Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...3&sectionId=39

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    Firefighters Lay Wreath At Site Of Fire Truck Crash

    Firefighters Lay Wreath At Site Of Fire Truck Crash
    Collision Kills One, Injures Two

    MELROSE PARK, Ill. -- Firefighters gathered overnight to lay a wreath at the site where two fire trucks struck each other, killing a 34-year-old firefighter, as they headed to a garage fire in Franklin Park.

    Two other firefighters were injured, one of them critically, when the trucks collided Tuesday evening. A witness said the crash sounded like a bomb went off.

    The firefighter died at Loyola University Medical Center in the Chicago suburb of Maywood, said hospital spokeswoman Sandra Martinez.

    The collision happened about 6 p.m. at an intersection on the border of the suburbs of Northlake and Melrose Park. Trucks from Northlake and the suburb of Stone Park were involved, according to witnesses.

    Cecil Graham, 39, a mechanic with Pollard Motor Co. in Melrose Park, said he was walking outside when he saw one firetruck heading through the intersection of Mannheim Road and Armitage Avenue. The other firetruck was traveling along Mannheim.

    "As soon as (the truck) crossed the first lane of traffic, that's when I heard the bomb -- the big explosion," he said.

    Graham said one firetruck landed on its side after the collision.

    "I could see underneath the truck, the whole thing," he said.

    Investigators believe the Northlake was turning north on Mannheim from the eastbound lanes of Armitage when it struck the Stone Park's only firetruck, which was traveling north on Mannheim.

    "Clearly, this is a tragic event for both communities," said Stone Park Village Attorney Dean Krone. "I'm sure that all members of the departments and of other departments feel very deeply about this situation."

    Firefighters involved in the accident had to extricate at least one firefighter from the truck and had to extinguish flames coming from it.

    Ellen Maslo, a receptionist at Pollard, said the trucks were "pretty mangled" when she stepped outside.

    "I thought if anybody came out of there, it would be a miracle," she said.

    NBC5's Rob Elgas reported that investigators said both the Northlake truck and the Stone Park truck were responding to the same call -- a garage fire in nearby Lyons Township.

    "I don't know whether there was communication between the two departments tonight," Krone said.

    The 34-year-old Stone Park firefighter who died in the accident was also a Chicago firefighter assigned to Engine No. 57 at Division and Western, where he was an EMT, NBC5's Amy Jacobson reported.

    The driver of the Stone Park fire truck was in critical condition at Loyola Tuesday night and was undergoing surgery for two broken femurs, a collapsed lung and head injuries.

    "Considering that we work with these people all the time, it kind of hits home," said 32-year fire veteran Capt. Carl Lite. "There's small fender benders with ambulances and passenger cars, but with two firetrucks like this, no."

    A 27-year-old Stone Park firefighter was at Elmhurst Hospital in serious condition Tuesday night, but his injuries were not life-threatening.

    Two other firefighters were treated for minor injuries and released Tuesday night.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...0&sectionId=39

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    Firefighter Killed in Collision in Illinois

    Associated Press

    NORTHLAKE, Ill. (AP) -- Two fire trucks collided Tuesday at a suburban intersection west of Chicago, killing one firefighter and injuring two others.

    One of the injured was hospitalized in serious condition. There was no immediate word on the other's condition.

    The crash happened about 6 p.m. at the intersection on the border of the suburbs of Northlake and Melrose Park. A witness said the trucks were from Northlake and the suburb of Stone Park. Broadcast reports said both vehicles were headed to a garage fire.

    Authorities did not return repeated telephone calls Tuesday night.

    Witness Cecil Graham, 39, said one fire truck landed on its side. Firefighters involved in the crash had to pull at least one colleague from the truck, which caught fire, and squelch the flames, he said.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...8&sectionId=39

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    Bergstrom, Jeffrey C

    Age: 34
    Cause of Death: Struck By/Contact with Object
    Rank: Firefighter/Paramedic
    Nature of Death: Internal Trauma
    Status: Career
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 04/27/2004
    Duty Type: Responding/Returning from Alarm
    Incident Time: 17:42
    Activity Type: Riding Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 04/27/2004
    Fixed Prop. Use: Street/Road

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Stone Park Fire Department
    1745 N 35th Ave.
    Stone Park , Illinois 60165
    Chief: John Cummins

    Initial Summary:
    Firefighter Bergstrom died from head injuries received in a collision at an intersection of two pieces of fire apparatus from different departments responding to a fire call.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    C/o Stone Park Fire Department, 1745 N 35th Ave., Stone Park, IL 60165


    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/application...eath_year=2004

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    State, Local Officials Investigate Fire Truck Crash
    34-Year-Old Firefighter/Paramedic Killed

    CHICAGO -- State and local officials are investigating the crash between a Stone Park fire engine and a Northlake fire engine that killed 34-year-old firefighter Jeffrey Bergstrom.

    Bergstrom, a Chicago paramedic and a part-time Stone Park firefighter, was thrown from the rig when the vehicles collided.

    According to an initial accident report supplied to the Cook County medical examiner's office, the fire trucks "T-boned" in the intersection of Mannheim Road and Armitage Avenue, causing one of the trucks to roll over. The trucks were responding to the same call of a fire at a Leyden Township garage.

    Investigators with the Melrose Park Police Department are looking into the cause of the collision, NBC5's Anita Padilla reported. They're recreating the scene by compiling information from the crash site. Some of the information comes from the truck's so-called black box, which logs the speed and breaking information.

    Also a private engineering company will assist in the investigation by looking at the engines involved.

    Investigators also will look into whether the sensors that are mounted on the intersection's stoplights failed. Among the questions was whether either truck had activated a traffic control system that allows emergency vehicles to switch a traffic light from red to green.

    Illinois State Police District Chicago sent two traffic crash reconstruction officers to the scene to investigate the cause of the crash, a state police representative said. Those officers are specially trained in determining momentum, speed, vectors, and other causes of the accident. Cook County sheriff's police also responded to the scene, a sheriff's police representative said, but had no further details.

    A final report on the cause of that crash won't be available for several days, if not weeks, investigators said.

    One firefighter, Ricardo Mendoza, is still hospitalized at Loyola in critical but stable condition. Stone Park firefighters have set up a special fund set up for Mendoza with the Stone Park Firefighter Fund to help the firefighter defray medical expenses. Donations can be made to: International Bank of Stone Park, 1615 N. Mannheim Road, Stone Park, Ill. 60165.

    The third firefighter on the Stone Park truck, Matt Durand, 27, was treated and released from Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.

    The three firefighters riding in the Northlake fire truck suffered minor injuries, and were all treated and released Tuesday night.

    Other units were able to respond to the garage fire and got it under control.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...0&sectionId=39

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    Firefighters Honor Fallen Colleague
    Burial Procession To Be Led By Motorcycles

    Story by nbc5.com

    -- Hundreds of firefighters from units as far away as Kenosha , Wis. accompanied the body of their fallen colleague to his final resting place on Monday.

    NBC5's Kim Vatis reported from the Freedom Baptist Church in Hillside that the burial procession for Stone Park firefighter Jeffrey Bergstrom will be led not only by a police escort, but also by a two special firefighter Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Vatis reported that Bergstrom enjoyed motorcycles and had three or four, according to his colleagues.

    The procession will pass by the Stone Park Fire Department before going to the Oak Ridge Cemetery.

    "Jeff's loss was an extreme tragedy that happened," said Stone Park Mayor Ben Mazulla outs ide Monday's funeral. "It's the ultimate sacrifice."

    Bergstrom died shortly after the crash between two fire trucks last week. The trucks were both responding to the same call at the time of the crash.

    "Jeff had a positive attitude that touched everyone," said one firefighter. "His family should know that he will be missed."

    Hundreds of firefighters turned out to show their comraderie at visitation services for Bergstrom over the weekend.

    Bergstrom worked full-time as a paramedic for the Chicago Fire Department but was working as a part-time Stone Park firefighter at the time of the accident.

    "It is dangerous whether you are at the scene or on your way," firefighter Maureen Milota said at the visitation.

    Janice Orozco said she remember Bergstrom as "encouraging" when they were in the same squad at the Fire Academy.

    "There is a brotherhood, and people feel it deeply," a fire official said.

    Fellow firefighters said Bergstrom left a daughter behind.

    Vatis said firefighters were coming together to grieve and were not distracted by a lawsuit filed by one of the firefighters after the crash.

    Vatis said Bergstrom's family requested that donations be made to the Firefighters Fund in lieu of flowers.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...9&sectionId=39

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