© 2008 - GLEN CARBON FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ralph Well
Assistant Chiefs
Dave Budwell , Larry Hood
News letter By Thomas J. Kowalski

Thomas Kowalski

The fire and EMS services are probably the most diverse and challenging professions known today. It is this diversity that inspires most men and women to enter these services both as volunteers and career employees. Imagine having to train to prepare yourself to cope with situations that range from structure fires to hazardous chemical spills, and almost any type of emergency in between. Combine this diversity with the fact that these skills may be called upon at any given time day or night, seven days a week. But, our profession is one of the most rewarding.

In the fire and EMS services we have two purposes. First to save lives and second to protect the citizens within our fire district. We meet the two basic objectives through training, modern equipment, and yes, more training. Our services require us to work in hot, sweaty, dirty, and emotional environments.

How do you measure our success? It is measured by the number of lives we save and property damage we protect. WE SAVE LIVES AND PROTECT OUR RESIDENTS.

Did you ever wonder what the cross emblem on a fire truck or a firefighters uniform symbolized? The cross is referred to as the Maltese Cross. This symbol was first used by the Knights of St. John. The Knights were a distinguished group of crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Knights fought against Saracens for possession of the Holy Land. During many of the early battles the Saracens used a device of war the Knights had never seen before-a fire.

As the crusaders advanced towards their foes glass bombs containing naphtha struck them. When the Knights became saturated with the flammable liquid the Saracens hurled a flaming torch at the Knights.

Hundreds and hundreds of Knights were burned alive while other Knights risked their lives to save their brother Knights from dying a fiery death. The heroic efforts of the Knights were recognized by fellow crusaders who rewarded the Knights with a badge of honor-a cross similar to the one worn by firefighters today.

The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection. It means that a firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his/her life for you; just as the Knights laid down their lives so many years ago. The Maltese Cross is recognized by eight points. Each point signifies an important element of the fire fighter's duties. These elements are gallantry, loyalty, tact, observation, dexterity, sympathy perseverance, explicitness. For some of the volunteers it is a way to give back to our district. For others it is a way to move into a career.

It is responding at all hours of the day and night. It is the challenge of how to tear a car apart
to save a life. It is responding to your neighbors who are looking for help. Our firefighters and EMS staff have a mission to protect life, property, and enhance the quality of life for residents in our district.

Our volunteer firefighters have responded to 366 alarms since the beginning of this year. Our EMS staff has responded to 310 calls since the beginning of the year. Both of our ambulances also have passed state inspections by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

To provide better service to our district residents and provide safety for our EMS staff two Power Pro Stretchers have been purchased for the cost of $11,700.00 per stretcher. Another medical service purchased for the EMS staff is referred to as “Easy I O guns”. These devices can protect the life of a patient by establishing vascular access.

Our EMS staff is also sponsoring a blood drive and providing public relation activities to churches, schools, safety events, and a family day. If you have a question in reference to EMS service or activities please contact the EMS staff at 288- 1259.

Your fire department has ordered a new rescue/pumper with a delivery date of late June, 2009. Again, we try to provide our district residents with the best protection possible.

As with previous articles the district trustees, fire department, and EMS staff would like to provide our residents with the following “safety tips”.

1. Install smoke detectors and check them on a monthly basis.
2. Post emergency numbers near the telephone. Please remember that if a fire threatens your home, you should not place a call to emergency service from inside your home. Make the call from a safe location.
3. Smokers must be most careful. Carelessly discarding cigarettes are a leading cause of
Fire deaths.
4. Be careful using halogen lights. Make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low
Ceiling areas. Never leave them on when you leave your home or office.

As a reminder our fire district offers the following services: child safety seat inspections, free smoke detectors to those who qualify.
If you have any questions you may call 618-288-1220 or visit our website at