Squad One

Squad One We are one of four “Heavy Rescue” companies in the CFD. We respond on all confirmed fires, haz-mat, Technical Rescue, pin-in accidents and dive rescues.

Operating as usual



March 30, 2010 - LODD
Firefighter Brian Carey
Homewood Fire Department. IL
Carey of the Homewood Fire Department died in the line of duty during search and rescue operations at a residential fire. Homewood firefighters were dispatched to the fire around 9PM, and Carey was among the first firefighters on scene. Upon arriving at the home, firefighters learned from an elderly, female resident who had escaped the fire that her partially paralyzed husband was trapped inside the house. Carey and other firefighters entered the structure in an attempt to rescue the homeowner, but Carey suffered fatal injuries when the fire intensified. Carey was transported to South Suburban Hospital with smoke inhalation and burn injuries, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. The homeowner also died as a result of the fire, and another firefighter was hospitalized with burn injuries sustained inside the house.

Our friend, Dan O'Farrell's grandfather, Captain of Squad 1.

Our friend, Dan O'Farrell's grandfather, Captain of Squad 1.

Our friend, Dan O'Farrell's grandfather, Captain of Squad 1.


3-3-5 RFB

Learn from the past kids...

Learn from the past kids...

On this day in 1991, a fire at the One Meridian Plaza in Philadelphia, PA claimed the lives of three firefighters. The fire began on the 22nd floor and extended and destroyed 9 floors of the 38-story fire-resistive building. PFD was plagued by operational problems during the 18-½ -hour effort to control the fire.

Firefighters began experiencing problems before they even reached the fire. By the time firefighters reached the 11th floor the building had lost power after the heat from the blaze damaged electrical cables. The building was without electricity for the entirety of the event. This forced firefighters to work in darkness and without the aid of elevators.

Firefighters were again hampered when it was discovered the pressure release valves on the standpipes were improperly adjusted when installed in the building. The Philadelphia Fire Department nozzles allowed 100 psi nozzle pressure while One Meridian Plaza’s pressure release valves were giving less than 60 psi discharge pressure, which was not sufficient to fight the fire. It was several hours into the fire before a technician who could adjust the valves arrived at the scene.

A captain and two firefighters were assigned to ventilate the stairwell. The three firefighters went up a center staircase from the 22nd floor and soon radioed that they were disoriented by heavy smoke on the 30th floor. Search teams were sent from the lower floors and searched the 30th floor, but did not find the missing firefighters. The teams then moved onto the upper levels where one team got lost on the 38th floor and ran out of air in their SCBA. That team was rescued by a search team that had been placed on the roof by a helicopter. Rescue attempts continued until helicopter operations were suspended due to heavy smoke and thermal drafts caused by the blaze.

The fire was stopped when it reached a floor with automatic sprinklers. Workers had been refinishing woodwork in a vacant office earlier in the day and workers left a pile of rags soaked in linseed oil on the floor. The linseed oil oxidized and generated enough heat to ignite the rags which then set fire to other solvents nearby. Smoke detectors did not cover the entire floor and by the time the fire alarm went off the fire was already well established. 📸 credit The Company Officer Blog

#FireHistory #NeverForget

Ret. Chief Pat Donnelley working the pipe in the basket!

Ret. Chief Pat Donnelley working the pipe in the basket!



As we’ve said, December has not been good to us...

As we’ve said, December has not been good to us...

December 23, 2000 - LODD
Lieutenant Scott Gillen, 37 - Truck 27
Chicago Fire Department. Chicago, IL
At 2:38 AM, Truck 27 was dispatched to assist Ambulance 37 at an accident at 11400 South Bishop Ford Expressway. Upon arrival, Truck 27 positioned itself to protect both the ambulance and the entire accident scene from the flow of traffic. The apparatus was positioned to block the inside and center traffic lanes. Two state police cars were positioned behind the ladder truck in a further attempt to divert traffic. According to the driver of Truck 27, Gillen was retrieving a piece of equipment from the rear of the apparatus when a civilian automobile illegally crossed into the center lane and ran over a line of flares in an attempt to slip by traffic to cut in front of a tractor trailer that was traveling in the outside lane. The automobile struck the tractor trailer on the front passenger side, causing the car to rotate in a counterclockwise manner. The car struck Gillen and pinned him against the rear bumper of the fire truck. Gillen suffered multiple injuries to his lower extremities. . His legs were crushed in the collision, and he had lost a substantial amount of blood. He was transported by the University of Illinois Hospital helicopter to Christ Hospital where he died 10 hours later from his injuries. The driver of the car that struck Lieutenant Gillen was under the influence of alcohol and was driving on a suspended driver’s license. He was later charged with reckless homicide. There were no injuries in the original collision. Lieutenant Gillen had been promoted to lieutenant just two weeks prior to his death. The Chicago fire commissioner was quoted as saying "I have a hard time calling this an accident, this was a crime, an absolute crime". As a result of this tragedy, "Scott's Law" was created and passed in the state of Illinois.

No words... RFB. 3-3-5

No words... RFB. 3-3-5

Strong work brothers and sisters!!!

Strong work brothers and sisters!!!

The Chicago Fire Department's Engine 23, Tower Ladder 5, arrived Wednesday with a special guest to greet young patients at Rush University Children's Hospital. "We didn't think we'd see Santa this year," one mom said.

Gone too soon, Brother.

Gone too soon, Brother.

December 14, 2015 - LODD
Firefighter Dan Capuano, 42 - Tower Ladder 34
Chicago Fire Department. Chicago, IL
Firefighter Capuano died after falling through a second floor elevator shaft, while battling a 3 story warehouse fire in South Chicago. Firefighter Capuano was injured about 20 minutes after crews were called to a vacant warehouse at 92nd and Baltimore about 2:40am. He was pulled from the scene by crews who performed CPR before sending him to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. Firefighter Capuano was a 15 year veteran of the department.

Well done Brothers... may we Never Forget!

Well done Brothers... may we Never Forget!

RIP Dan, 335. A truly missed fireman and family man. Never Forgotten
Install date of Dec 12th 2020, location 92nd & Baltimore, by Members of the CFD: E46, T17, E72, TL34, Batt 23, and of course Batt 6 "Jake"
Original art and design and creation/build by Mitch Huner of Truck 30 and Fire Maul Tools
With Blessings and support from Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th Ward and the So. Chicago Mexican American Social Club
Pics by Moreno and Olk

Never forgotten...

Never forgotten...

Today, you will see plenty of photos and stories online about this particular fire, but please take the time to read the story of the Firefighter from the Chicago Fire Department Firefighters Union - Local 2 pictured be below. #AFFIatWork

How Fireman Feels Carrying Out Victims
By Norman Glubo (Chicago American Newspaper)

What does a fireman think about as he goes about the grim task of recovering bodies from a burning school.
If he is a father himself his thoughts are probably the same as those of Richard Scheidt, who says:
“I thought of my own four children at home and all the times I could have been nicer to them.
“I thought about what I hope they will become some day.
“And I tried to put myself in the place of the parents of the children I was carrying out. I knew many of them were down in the street below the second floor classroom I was working in.
“I wondered how anyone could tell them that their children didn't escape.”

Pictured in Rescue
Scheidt, who was pictured carrying an unconscious boy from the Our Lady of the Angels School fire on page 1 of yesterday's CHICAGO AMERICAN, is typical of the 250 firemen who fought the blaze that claimed 90 lives Monday.
Scheidt is a 30-year-old veteran of seven years in the fire department. He lives with his wife Nancy and their three sons and a daughter in a six-room cottage at 1345 W. 97th st.
His $5,400-a-year salary, a little less than $104 a week, doesn't begin to compensate for the tremendous risks he takes. He drives a 1953 Chevrolet and never has been able to afford a vacation.
But there are other compensations besides money. Says the slim, balding six-footer.
“It's a good position in life, even if you are just a fireman.
“When I'm in my uniform I have the respect of the people. It's a nice feeling to know you're doing something people are grateful to you for.
“I've never heard an angry word about a fireman.”
Scheidt is a member of Rescue Squad 1, stationed at 209 N. Dearborn st.

On 'Dizzy Wagon'
Life on a rescue squad, nicknamed the “dizzy wagon” because its members are kept so busy, is the most hectic in the fire department.
There are only 13 squads to cover the entire city and each is manned by half a dozen young, vigorous volunteers.
Where an engine or a truck company may respond to an average of only one alarm each 24 hours, rescue squads are called out as often as 10 or 15 or even 20 times.
Monday started out as a typical day in the Scheidt household.
Up to 6 a.m., Scheidt had coffee and toast with his pretty brown-haired wife.
At 7 a.m. he and Nancy got the kids out of bed to kiss them goodby.
Richard, 8, is a third-grade pupil and Nancy, 6, is in first grade at St. Margaret of Scotland Parochial School. The others are Thomas, 4, and Timothy, who will be 2 years old the day after Christmas.
Scheidt drove to the Loop, parked his car across the street from the firehouse and reported in for 8 a.m. roll call.

Reports for Roll Call
Thirty-five minutes later the squad reported to a fire at 229 Hill st., got back to the station at 9:05 and was out again at 9:10 on an inhalator call at 55 W. Van Buren st.
Back in the station by 9:27 a.m. Scheidt and his buddies went through their regular Monday morning drill, testing their gas masks and cutting torches.
After lunch the day was quiet until 2:42 p.m. when the first alarm from the school came in.
Seated in an easy chair in his living room last night, his red-haired son Timothy in his lap, Scheidt recalled.
“We had no idea it was a school on fire. It was out of our territory and we didn't think much about it until the radio operator called all available ambulances and police wagons to the scene.
“Then we knew someone was trapped or injured. We thought it must be a factory. We get them all the time. It never occurred to us that a school could go like that.”

Call to Iowa Street
At exactly 3:09 p.m. the loudspeaker in the firehouse called for Squad 1 to proceed to 3800 Iowa st. Continued Scheidt.
“One of our guys who lives on the West Side told us it must be the Our Lady of the Angels School. But we tried to put it out of our minds And we still thought it must be a factory across the street, or something.”
As the red doors to the station swung open, Scheidt leaped to his post at the rear of the truck.
By the time the driver turned north into Dearborn street Scheidt had slipped on his rubber fire coat. As the truck rumbled across the bridge over the Chicago River, Scheidt yanked off his shoes, and pulled on his boots.
Squad 1 took Dearborn street to Chicago avenue, then headed west to Hamlin avenue. Recalls. Scheidt.
“It was a very clear day. It wasn't at all uncomfortable.”

Smoke from Window
As Scheidt's squad pulled up a block from the fire scene at about 3:18 p.m. the men saw smoke pouring from the school building. Says Scheidt: “I grabbed my ax and pike pole and ran after our captain, Harry Whedon, to the school.
“As we got close I saw flames still shooting out of the northwest windows on the second floor and I knew we were in for some rescue work.”
Scheidt recalls that it didn't look like much of a fire from the outside. He said:
“If it hadn't been for the children inside it probably wouldn't have been more than a box alarm with maybe half a dozen pieces of equipment.”
Scheidt's squad reported to Chief Fire Marshal Raymond Daley who ordered them to the second floor to get into the school rooms.
As Scheidt and his buddies climbed a stairway on the opposite side of the building from the flames, they found the corridor already crowded with firemen operating hose lines.

Trip After Trip
Entering the first classroom, Scheidt was greeted by a scene that turned an ordinary day into one he will never forget. Said Scheidt.
“There wasn't much sign of fire in the room at all. But the water was shin deep.
“Then up at the far end of the room I saw about a dozen children all huddled together. And the nun was lying over the children as if she was trying to protect them. Nobody was burned.
“They had all suffocated.”
Scheidt made trip after trip downstairs to carry the lifeless forms to waiting ambulances.
When everyone was removed from the first room, he said, his squad broke through the wall to the next room where they found about 20 bodies huddled near the windows. The youngsters had been asphyxiated before they could leap to safety.
When the second room was cleared, Scheidt's men moved on to a third room where they removed 20 more bodies. Said Scheidt: “You know, after a while on the fire department you think you have seen the worst.
“I worked on the Reliance Hotel fire when five firemen were killed. I was at the Barton Hotel fire on Skid Row when 29 men were killed.
“I was out at the “L” wreck at Wilson avenue a couple of years ago and I thought nothing could be worse.
“But I've never seen anything like that school fire. All those children up there and all those parents outside hoping and praying that their kids weren't in there.
“It wasn't like the usual crowd. There was no screaming or shouting. Everyone seemed to be in a state of shock. They couldn't even move.
“How did I feel? It's hard to put it into words. I was just numbed.”

Back to Station
When the last body was removed from the charred building, Scheidt's squad was sent back to its station where it logged in at 6:32 p.m.
At 7:50 p.m., the station record book shows, the squad was called to sweep water from a broken main in a store at 17 N. State st. But nobody remembers much about that.
An ex-Marine who followed three brothers on the fire department, Scheidt said he would be happy to see his three sons follow in his footsteps.
Said Scheidt: “It's a wonderful job. To me it is the greatest public service there is.”
“Echoes Nancy, her brown eyes gleaming.
“It's a good life. We'd be proud of them.”


Last day for this guy... Danny, you will be missed. Congrats and thank you for a great career! 21 years on Squad 1!

Last day for this guy... Danny, you will be missed. Congrats and thank you for a great career! 21 years on Squad 1!

Sharing a photo taken for us last night at the 2-11 at 8950 S Houston... a little ride for the lads... but we managed. P...

Sharing a photo taken for us last night at the 2-11 at 8950 S Houston... a little ride for the lads... but we managed. Photo courtesy of
Custom Fine Art by Chris. Thank you.

Rest In Peace, Brother.

Rest In Peace, Brother.

One of our own...

One of our own...

Photos from Squad One's post

Photos from Squad One's post

Steve Redick photo. Thank again!!!

Steve Redick photo. Thank again!!!

Never Forget Herbie...

Never Forget Herbie...

Remembering Herbie on the anniversary which reminds us of the sacrifices our members make.

Strong Work Lads!

Strong Work Lads!

“At approximately 9:10 this morning, calls came into 911 for a hanging scaffold. The first Fire Department unit arrived on the scene approximately four and a half minutes later to find an off-level hanging scaffold with two workers attached to it. We operated for approximately 40 minutes. We secured the workers, provided a communication link to them, and then we cut the windows to remove them into the building. Both were examined by EMS and both refused further medical attention,” says FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Ajello from the scene at 250 Vesey Street in Manhattan where two workers were removed from a hanging scaffold earlier this morning. FDNY Engine 10 and Ladder 10 arrived first on scene, where they quickly assessed the individuals for injuries, and secured them with rope. FDNY Lieutenant John Tobin, Rescue 1, says “The first two companies did a phenomenal job getting rope on them to secure them. We checked the scaffold to make sure that it wouldn’t move any further, and then Rescue 1 proceeded to secure the windows by taping them. We have glass-cutting equipment where we can remove the panels of glass, and we were able to pull those two scaffold workers in right where they were. This was a pretty straightforward operation. All the companies worked excellent together, this was a coordinated effort. This is something we train for all the time.” Pictured here are the alpha wet saw and angle grinder, both of which were used on scene to efficiently cut the glass and remove the workers to safety.


55 W Illinois St
Chicago, IL




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You were the best Bra'! 3-3-5 Dave
Squad 1, 228 Illinois mid 60's.
This Kowalski painting just popped up on Facebook marketplace. His current best offer is $250. Squad ones bucket is visible up in the corner in this "old Loop"painting.
getting ready for the thrill show. cb
Thanks for the tour and letting us serve you! -from Ohio
While cold here on the east coast, nothing like what you all are getting. Brothers and Sisters, be safe out there.
cfd in spares, nothing new. be safe. cb
Thanks for the hospitality on Monday. Hanging at the Squad table!!!
This event is looking for more CFD houses to form teams and compete. Great family event benefitting pediatric cancer patients and their families. Please share and pass along...Thanks !! https://www.crowdrise.com/FireUpACure2018
come help a veteran and his service dog!!!!!