He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Feds Fault Dept in Deaths of Two Chicago Firefighters

My husband was there all day this horrible day for the department. I was at a show my daughter was in, and got a frantic call from him just saying, "Just so you know, I'm okay!" Then said, "I gotta go!" I was so thankful for that call, but it was a tough day watching the news and seeing this going on. They were there all day long, and reports were coming in about 2 fallen firefighters. Very sad. God bless those that run into harm's way for us!

Feds fault department in deaths of two Chicago firefighters


Chicago firefighters watch as others dig to rescue their trapped comrades in a Dec. 22 fire in a vacant South Side building. Two firefighters died in the blaze. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / September 23, 2011)
Poor communications and an insufficient number of radios were among shortcomings within the Chicago Fire Department that contributed to the deaths of two firefighters in a fire at an abandoned South Side laundry last December, according to a federal report.

The report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health also pointed to the lack of a system to alert the Fire Department to hazardous buildings as among the "contributing factors" that cumulatively put firefighters at risk.

The report said few of the firefighters who were sent into the vacant, dilapidated building in the 1700 block of East 75th Street on Dec. 22 had radios and that supervisors outside the building had no idea what the firefighters inside were seeing: flames crawling up wooden beams to the ceiling.

As the firefighters fought the blaze from the inside, others were on the roof, spraying water and cutting holes to vent smoke right up until the roof collapsed. Two firefighters inside the building, Edward Stringer, 47, and Corey Ankum, 34, were killed, and 19 other firefighters were injured.

Tim Merinar, who led the federal agency's investigation, said Fire Department supervisors should have taken a more defensive approach and ordered more firefighters out of the building once it was clear that no one was trapped inside, as firefighters had feared when they arrived at the early morning blaze.

The Fire Department received the report in July and has already implemented some of the agency's recommendations, department spokesman Larry Langford said Thursday.

The Fire Department now requires that firefighters inside a building provide more details to commanders about the situation, Langford said.

The department has also begun hanging tags on each firetruck that identify every firefighter assigned to the vehicle, in response to the report's recommendation that the department improve its ability to account for all firefighters working at a specific incident.

But one major recommendation — putting radios in the hands of every firefighter — won't be implemented until sometime in 2012, when the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communication says a much-delayed digital radio system will be operational.

The department currently provides a radio to one member of each team of two or three firefighters, Langford said.

Only five of the 13 firefighters who were in the building when the roof collapsed had radios, and none of those firefighters provided supervisors outside the building with a description of the conditions inside, the report said.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"My Note" posted on the Girls Get Away Blog

I am excited to be a featured blogger for the Girls Get Away Cruise. Just the other day they asked if I would write a devotion for their blog. This is the devotion I wrote, I pray that it blesses you this week. Click on this link and it will take you to their blog and website. It was modified a bit for their blog, but I thought I'd add the entire thing here. 

And, come and join us on the cruise! Book under my name and save $ (See bottom of post)


Doesn’t it seem like chaos is all around? From floods to famine, hurricanes and earthquakes.. it almost seems like we’ve stepped right out in older Biblical times.  Some of what our favorite people in the Bible went through, we are also experiencing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
We all know someone who’s lost their job and had to move as a result, we’ve all experienced a tightening of our belts when it comes to spending. What is this? Where are we supposed to be?
My husband is a firefighter for the city of Chicago, and for the last four years we have homeschooled at one point or another, all three of our children. I am a stay at home mom, starting up a photography business, and also continuously run these kids from point A to point B. Our oldest is a junior at a Christian high school nearby, and just this year we have signed up our youngest two for 8th and 4th grade at the local public school. Lately, for my family, it seems like the rug has just been completely pulled out from under us. Almost every corner we turn, it seems like that’s not where we are supposed to be.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
I’m reading about Job in my personal devotions, with it I’m also reading a J. Vernon McGee commentary. He points out how wealthy this man was. He had everything from livestock that lined the horizon, to property that didn’t seem to end. He was the Bill Gates or Donald Trump of his time. Yet in a heartbeat, God allowed Satan to wipe him out. A little at a time, or should I say a LOT at a time.  Job continued to praise God.  Sure, he went through a time of complaining, wanting to take his life and suffering, but in the end he still trusted that God was in control. After his suffering, Job was given twice as much as he once had.

Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. Job 42:1-3
If we lost a little of our earthly treasures, or a lot, would we still trust and believe that God is in control? When it comes to our families, our homes and our livelihood?
When I was just out of high school, I had three jobs. I worked for my dad who was a contractor, I was a lifeguard/swim instructor, and also babysat once a week. My parents taught me how to work hard, and learn how to spend my money. They helped me purchase a condo, and taught me how to maintain it and take care of my renter.  All was good, right?
One morning some friends (youth leaders) and I drove about 180 miles (4 hours) to Leavenworth, WA. We were checking out a campsite for a possible youth group retreat. A friend and I led the way as a few others were in the car behind us. After about 3 hours, I got pretty tired. No doubt as a result of being young and watching movies the whole night before then thinking this was a smart thing to do the next day. So my friend drove instead, and I went to sleep. We were almost up the Cascade Mountains, and we hit the embankment on the mountain side. We flipped and skidded to a halt. I was pinned underneath my truck. The cliffs had huge boulders that fell from time to time, and somehow God let my head rest on a perfect sandy area. My sunroof also molded around my head, and for some reason, God spared my friend’s and my life. 
Even though I thought I had everything under control, everything changed in a heartbeat. People have told me that I must have something big to do, I’m still not sure. I still don’t have that huge moment or a sign that’s told me “This. This is why you’re still on this earth!” I used to wait for “that moment,” but then I’ve come to really appreciate this wonderful verse.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
THIS is why I am still here. I will do my best even when it’s not easy. Do I fail sometimes? Yes, miserably. But I know that Jesus’ sacrifice, and his loving grace allow me to stay on the right road. I will persevere, because He has given me the tools to do “this.”
I hope to see you on the Girl’s Get Away Cruise! I will be a group leader for the very first time this year, and it will also be my first cruise! You’re welcome to join me. I can’t wait to meet up and visit with you. I plan to bring my oldest with me, please stop by and say hello!


 here is the link to their blog on Girls Get Away Cruise!

A Note from a Girls Get Away Small Group Leader

Kara is a group leader on the upcoming Girl’s Get Away Cruise. If you wold like to be in Kara's group send her an email theschoenles [at] yahoo.com.  Be sure to comment your thoughts on this blog as well as look out for her and her oldest on the cruise!

If you'd like to join my group, all you have to do is click on this banner that says, "Kara's Group" and book your cruise! Or, call premier cruises 1-800-889-5265 and speak with an agent and tell them you want to be booked under "Kara's Group." 

Are you going? Let me know! See you soon, only 4 months away!

There is also fun prize being offered for my group only. A mini photo shoot to be drawn on the ship for those who book under my name. If I get 20 people booked under me, I will draw for the photo shoot. How fun would that be to get your pictures taken on the cruise, a mom and daughter..or best friends, maybe just a quick portrait shoot of yourself.. 

Here's a little shot of the water to get you longing for that sand and surf!

Join Kara on the Girl's Get-a-way 2012

Only 4 more months! Book today and save $100! Join my group by clicking on this link AND get the savings! We'll have so much fun! We set sail to Cozumel Jan 12-16 2012