ERFFA Newsletter

The past and latest Evanston Retired Fire Fighters Newsletter Fire Line.


Union Meeting:

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 7:30pm
Via teleconference


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In Loving Memory:

Never Forget

Firefighter Fred McGowan
April 22, 2020

Fire Chief Glen W. Ayers
April 16, 2019

Captain James C. Edwards, Jr.
April 4, 2019

Firefighter Roger Lecey
February 27, 2019

Firefighter Jerry "Ski" Czarnowski
January 4, 2019

Captain George Neuhaus
July 31. 2018

Firefighter Jerry Heber
July 29, 2018

Captain James McIntyre
June 25, 2018

Firefighter Neal Smithweck
March 29, 2018

Captain Robert Wagner
March 22, 2018

Chief Sanders "Sam" Hicks
June 16, 2017

Captain Edward Frank
June 14, 2017

Captain Ron Shulga
May 11, 2017

Captain George Strom
April 4, 2017

Division Chief James Mersch
March 30, 2017

Firefighter/Paramedic Gary Hilbert
March 21, 2017

Firefighter Thomas N. Kostopoulos
December 8, 2016

Captain Peter Erpelding
October 11, 2016

Firefighter Tomas Simpson
July 11, 2016

Assistant Fire Chief Thomas Hanson
January 10, 2015

Firefighter Kenneth Holmes
Sept. 2015

Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph F. Hayes
November 24, 2014

Captain James A. Cox
May 13, 2014

Captain Roger J. Pettinger
April 17, 2014

Firefighter Dave Henderson
December 9, 2013

Firefighter James M. Keaty
July 25, 2013

Firefighter William Lemieux
May 10, 2013

Firefighter Ben Ghiselli
February 27, 2013

Shift Chief James "Gov" Whalen
January 26, 2013

Assistant Fire Chief

Willard Thiel
January 4, 2013

Captain William L. Moore
August 16, 2012

Firefighter Bernard Burczak
January 5, 2012

Captain Bob Schwarz
November 30, 2011

Captain Daniel Lorden Sr.
June 24, 2011

Assistant Fire Chief
Edward E. Pettinger
November 12, 2010

Division Chief
David Franzen
July 29, 2010

Captain Mike Lass
May 28, 2010

Firefighter Richard G. Ruley Sr.
April 1, 2010

Firefighter/Paramedic Pat Reif
January 18, 2010

Captain Joe Planos
June 13, 2008

Assistant Fire Chief
Richard G. Schumacher
May 29, 2008

Firefighter Norman Peterson
April 13, 2008

Firefighter Stanley J. Broslovik
January 2, 2008

Firefighter Mike "Mickey" Ryan
December 27, 2007

Firefighter Bob Godemann
April 3, 2007

Chief John Wilkinson
November 29, 2006

Captain Joseph Burton
August 31, 2006

Captain LeRoy O. Dullin
March 19, 2006 (Past Union President)

Captain Ernest W. Bongratz
February 9, 2006

Captain Harold E. Cowell
January 24, 2006

Captain Peter Hanchar
January 6, 2006

Firefighter/Paramedic Chris Dwyer
May 18, 2005

Captain William Best
February 15, 2003

Captain William C. Currie
May 24, 1997

Marty Leoni
July 22, 1985

Firefighters Craig and Stiles
December 13, 1905


ERFFA Fire Line Fall, 2012

Click HERE to read the Fall, 2012 issue of Fire Line


ERFFA Fire Line Spring, 2012

Click HERE to read the Spring, 2012 issue of Fire Line


ERFFA Fire Line July, 2011

Click HERE to read the July, 2011 issue of Fire Line



Hello again, where did the summer of 2009 go?  Not very warm and time just flies by.  Also, it has been very quiet since the spring luncheon and it appears that there is no bad news to report.

I was glad to hear that some of retired members finally received the 3% yearly increase.  The other retired members who did not receive the 3% increase hopefully will receive it within the year.  Supposedly, the state retired association is working very hard for all retirees.

Enclosed is a copy of our most recent bank statement.

Enclosed is a copy of the Illinois Retired Association meeting July 25, 2009.

Also enclosed is a copy of an e-mail "This will make you pause to think."

Enclosed is a copy of the letter from Ed Franke.

The Holiday luncheon will be on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at 12:00 clock noon, at the Lone Tree Banquet Hall, Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois, Please call with your reservation 847-832-9520.

All retirees, spouses, widows, friends and active fire fighters are welcome.  The cost is $5.00 per plate plus tip and there is a cash bar.

Motorcycle accident- Joe Bush, Roger and Bonnie Bush's son was critically injured in an accident while riding his motorcycle to work.  He is an Evanston Police Officer.  He is in Lutheran General Hospital, in a coma.  Our prayers are with him and his family.

Retired members 65 years and younger = $14.00 per year
Over 65 = $8.00 per year
Over 70 = $2.00 per year
Again, I want to thank you for all who pay dues and support ERFFA.  Donations are also appreciated and stamps for the news letter are also welcomed. 

Drop a note, a joke, or just a story you thought was great.  ERFFA retirees like to hear what's happening to the other member.

An industrious turkey farmer was always experimenting with breeding to perfect a better turkey.

His family was fond of the leg portion for dinner and there was never enough legs for everyone.  After many frustrating attempts, the farmer was relating the results of his efforts to his friends at the general store get together. "Well, I finally did it!  I bred a turkey that has 6 legs!"

They all asked how it tasted.

"I don't know," said the farmer, "I never could catch the darn thing!"


The game show contestant was only 200 points behind the leader and was about to answer the final question -- worth 500 points!

"To be today's champion," the show's smiling host intoned, "name two of Santa's reindeer."

The contestant, a man in his early thirties, gave a sigh of relief, gratified that he had drawn such an easy question.  "Ruldolph!" he said confidently, "and...Olive!"

The studio audience started to applaud (which the little sign above their heads said to do), but the clapping quickly faded into mumbling.  The confused host replied, "Yes, we'll accept Ruldolph, but could you please explain 'Olive'?"

"You know," the man circled his hand forward impatiently and began to sing,

"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose.  And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. *Olive,* the other reindeer...


BOB SCHWARZ 847-832-9520
337 ELM STREET, GLENVIEW, IL 60025-4910


Chase Checking Summary
Beginning Balance $711.65
Deposits                 72.00
Balance               $783.65


Hi Bob,
     Always happy to receive the Newsletter.  We all appreciate the hard work you do for ERFFA.
     My wife and I are both in good health and enjoying life.  Hope your doing the same.
     Enclosed is a check for stamps..  Few more years I'll be 100, then you can pay me!!
Have a good one,
Ed Franke


Illinois Association of Retired Firefighters
Minutes of the Membership Meeting July 25, 2009

President Sullivan called the meeting to order at 12:00 Noon at the Itoo Club in Peoria.

Roll Call:
There were 119 members representing 15 clubs with 17 guests.

Opening Prayer and Presentation of Colors:
The Peoria Fire Department, Local #50 Honor Guard presented the colors.  Chaplain Coons gave short opening prayer after which the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Welcome and Introduction of Guests:
AFFI President Pat Devaney gave presentation on the problems throughout the State and the 3% compounding for Pensions.  HB 3606 has passed both houses and is waiting for the Governor to sign it.  There are 280 Pension Funds downstate.  There are approximately 100 retirees that will receive the compounding and another approximate 100 that will notThe AFFI will continue to work on legislation to correct this disparity.  President Devaney stated that there are 200 Locals in the AFFI with 15,000 members.  The biggest problem for actives is the laying off of fire fighters.

Peoria Councilmen George Jacobs and Dan Irving gave short welcoming addresses.  Chief Kent Tomblin and Fire Marshal Dave Foreman gave short introduction.  Eddy Crews, AFFI Legislative Representative was also present.

Reading of Minutes:
Secretary Brandmeyer read the minutes of the Executive Board and Membership Meetings of April 25, 2009.
Motion by Spurgetis, Second by Donald to accept the minutes of the April 25, 2009 Membership and Executive Board Meeting Minutes as read and recorded. --carried.

Treasurer's Report:
Treasurer Jackson read the quarterly Treasurer's Report.
Motion by Lovell, Second by McGrain to accept the Treasurer's Report as read and recorded.--carried.

An invitation to State Rep. Dan Brady's Golf Tournament was read to members.  A thank you card from the family of Bill Horve was read.  Bill Horve was a fire fighter in Danville who was killed.

Committee Reports:
Public Relations: Editor Mike Levin requests photos and information for the Fall Magazine and that such information be sent by September 1, 2009.

Unfinished Business:
Spurgetis asked about the motion  made at last year's July meeting concerning a page in the magazine dedicated to past deceased officers of the IARF.  The Executive Board will look into this.

New Business:
Treasurer Jackson reported to the membership concerning a letter put out by the Barrington Fire Chief stating that the IARF telemarketing program was a scam.  Treasurer Jackson sent a letter of correction to the Barrington Fire Chief and the Fire Department Local Union President and no response was received.

Motion by Shutts, Second by Williams to donate $1,000.00 to North Maine, Local 2224 Fire Fighters for their emergency defense fund.--carried

Brooks thanked the AFFI for attending our meetings and for all of their help.  Special thanks to President Pat Devaney and to the former President Dave Foreman.

Stout reported the costs of shirts are $24.00 and hats are $14.50.

Meisinger reminded the members of the golf tournament in Pekin on September 9, 2009.

For the Good of the Order:
Doug Aller from New Concept Co. gave presentation on new Illinois law, entitled the Long Term Partnership Act.  This is a program for eliminating some of the costs of long term care that is partnered with Insurance Companies.

Motion by McGrain, Second by Clow to adjourn.--carried

Meeting adjourned 1:05pm
John R. Brandmeyer, Secretary


From a pilot on his trip back home...This will make you pause to think...

February 17, 2007, 0350

I was at curbside at 24th and M, Washington DC 16 Degrees with a light breeze.  Going home after my second week of freezing temps to my warm home in SoCal.  Take a walk on the beach, ride a horse, climb a mountain and get back to living.  I'm tired of the cold.

paying the taxi fare at Dulles in front of the United Airlines counter, still cold.

engaged the self-serve ticker machine and it delivers my ticket, baggage tag and boarding pass.  Hmmm, that Marine over there is all  dressed up in his dress blues a bit early this morning..."Good Morning Captain, your looking sharp."  He says, "Thank you, sir."

Pass Security and to my gate for a decaf coffee and 5 hours sleep.  A quick check of the flight status monitor and a UA Flt 211 is on time.  I'm up front, so how bad can that be?  Hmm, there's that same Marine.  He must be heading to Pendleton to see his lady at LAX for the long weekend, all dressed up like that.  Or maybe not.  I dunno.

The speaker system announces, "Attention in the boarding area, we'll begin boarding in 10 minutes, we have some additional duties to attend to this morning, but we'll have you out of her on time."

The Marine Captain has now been joined by five others.  BINGO, I get it, he's not visiting his lady, he's an official escort.  I remember doing that once, CACO duty.  I still remember the names of the victim and family, The Bruno Family in Mojave - all of them, wows, that was 24 years ago.

On board, 0600:
"Good morning folks, this is the Captain.  This morning we've been attending to some additional duties, and I apologize for being 10 minutes late for push back, but I believe we'll be early into LAX.  This morning it is my sad pleasure to announce that 1st LT Jared Landaker, USMC will be flying with us to his Big Bear home in Southern California.  Jared lost his life over the skies of Iraq earlier this month, and today we have the honor of returning him home along with his mother, father and brother.  Please join me in making the journey comfortable for the Landaker family and their uniformed escort.  Now sit back and enjoy your ride.  We're not expecting any turbulence until we reach the Rocky Mountain area, but we'll do what we can to ensure a smooth ride.  For those interested, you can listen in to our progress on Channel 9.

4 hours and 35 minutes later over Big Bear MT, the AB320 makes a left roll, a steep bank and then one to the right-Nice touch.  Nice tribute.  Five minutes out from landing, the Captain comes on the speaker: "Ladies and Gents, after landing I'm leaving the fasten seatbelt sign on, and I ask everyone to please yield to the Landaker family.  Please remain seated until all members of the family have departed the aircraft.  Thank you for your patience.  We are 20 minutes early."

On roll out, I notice red lights, emergency vehicles approaching.  We're being escorted directly to our gate, no waiting, not even a pause.  Out the left window, a dozen Marines in full dress blues.  A true class act by everyone, down to a person.  Way to go United Airlines for doing things RIGHT.  Air Traffic Control for getting the message, and to all security personnel for your display of brotherhood.

When the family departed the aircraft everyone sat silent, then I heard a lady say, "God Bless you and your family, and thank you."  Then a somber round of applause.  The Captain read a prepared note from Mrs. Landaker to the effect, "Thank you all for your patience and heartfelt concern for us and our son.  We sincerely appreciate the sentiment.  It's good to have Jared home."

After departing the a/c I found myself along with 30 others from our flight looking out the lobby window back at the plane.  Not a dry eye.  It was one of the most emotional moments I've ever experienced.  We all stood there silently, and watched as Jared was taken by his honor guard to an awaiting hearse.  Then the motorcade slowly made it's way off the ramp. 

I realized I had finally seen the silent majority.  It is deep within us all.  Black, Brown, White, Yellow, Red, Purple, we're all children, parents, brothers, sisters, etc - we are an American Family.

Official Report: February 7, 2007, Anbar Province, Iraq -- 1st LT Jared Landaker United States Marine Corps, from Big Bear California, gave his life in service to his country.  Fatally wounded when his CH-46 helicopter was shot down by enemy fire.  Jared and his crew all perished.  His life was the ultimate sacrifice for a grateful military and nation.

His death occurred at the same time as Anna Nicole Smith, a drug using person with a 7th grade education of no pedigree who dominated our news for two weeks while Jared became a number on CNN.  And most unfortunately, Jared's death underscores a fact that we are a military at war, not a nation at war.  It has been said that Marines are at war.  America is at the mall. 

1st LT Landaker, a man I came to know in the sky's over America on 17 February 2007, from me to you, aviator to aviator, I am unbelievably humbled.  It was my high honor to share your last flight.  God bless you.




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