WFC News

Posted: Feb 23, 2017

True North Gear to Release L-3 Lite Speed™ RIT Bag

True North Gear L3

True North Gear® is set to release the next step in rapid intervention team (RIT) revolution with the introduction of the L-3 Lite Speed™ RIT Bag; streamlined into a fundamentals bag for optimum rescue efficiency in low-visibility, high-stress situations.


The revolution continues with the L-3 Lite Speed™ RIT Bag, the newest in True North's RIT series and the ultimate bag design that changed RIT. The durable, impact-resistant 3D molded Heat-Shield™ Polycarbonate skid plate effortlessly handles punishing training evolutions and real-life rescues that shred other bags. The wrap-around molded body and access-hatch design protect the face piece and valve set, while letting you reach them quickly. Separate pockets for high and low-pressure lines mean a fast, no-tangle hose deployment every time, and the 60-inch shoulder strap can be re-positioned for carrying, dragging or lowering. Designed for maximize ease-of-use in low visibility, high stress situations, the L-3 Lite Speed™ is built around the mission of getting air in and the firefighter out as speedily and safety as possible.

Another look of the L-3 Lite Speed


True North® is a trusted source for quality packs, bags, and FR clothing for over 20 years. They design and manufacture gear and accessories for wildland fire, structure fire, and search and rescue markets, while their partner brand DragonWear™ supplies performance-based FR/AR clothing to the fire, utilities, industrial safety and petro chemical industries.

From their extensive line of RIT bags and turnout duffels for structure--to a full line of packs, duffels, radio harnesses and clothing for wildland fire and search & rescue--every True North® product is built to excel in the harsh conditions of demanding, everyday use. Product innovation and design are just starting points; what truly distinguishes True North® is superior customer service backed up by a lifetime materials warranty. In more than two decades, their passion for creating and improving upon ways to help people be as comfortable and safe as possible in their apparel and gear has not changed, and the proof is in their products.

For more information, please visit the True North® Web site at, call  800-873-5725, or email


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Posted: Feb 23, 2017

LiquidSpring™ LLC Exhibiting at FDIC International

LiquidSpring™ LLC is exhibiting at FDIC International in Booth #3942 from April 27-29 at the Indiana Convention Center & Luc Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.  LiquidSpring will discuss its CLASS® suspension systems for emergency vehicles, which provide a smoother and safer ride for patients with quality, comfort and stability.  Suspension systems are available for Chevrolet/GMC, Ford, RAM, International and Freightliner models of emergency vehicles.

FDIC International is the largest firefighter conference and expo in North America and features multiple classroom sessions, workshops, and hands-on training.     

LiquidSpring LLC offers CLASS® products for several light and medium duty truck applications such as ambulances, shuttle buses, and motorhomes.  The products have demonstrated significant ride and handling performance improvements over conventional steel and air spring suspension systems.  Other products are available for Class 3-7 trucks.  LiquidSpring provides sales, application guidance, manufacturing, distribution and service of CLASS® suspensions.

For more information contact LiquidSpring™ LLC, 4899 E 400 S, Lafayette, IN 47905.  Phone: 765-474-7816; Fax: 765-474-7826.  Website:      

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Posted: Feb 23, 2017

Shannon Clark Has the Winning Bid—Acquires 1954 Ford Fire Apparatus


By Ron Heal

When Shannon Clark read John Croesman’s October 2015 feature in the DuQuoin Evening Call on an old fire truck that had served the DuQuoin (IL) Fire Department as being for sale by bid, he knew he had to place a bid and preserve a piece of history that had been a part of his life.

DuQuoin, Illinois, is a community of some 6,600 residents in southern Illinois and located on U.S. Route 51, south and east of St. Louis, Missouri. Well known for hosting the annual DuQuoin State Fair, the area was once heavily involved in the coal mining industry. The DuQuoin Fire Department is a combination fire department. Shannon Clark grew up in DuQuoin and served as a volunteer member of the department for a few years. His memories of the 1954 Ford-Towers pumper featured in Croesman’s article went back to his kindergarten days and followed up until his volunteer years.

It turns out that the Ford-Towers pumper was the first piece of motorized fire apparatus purchased new by the department. Earlier motorized apparatus had all been purchased used. In 1953, then fire chief Augie Schneider had Towers Fire Apparatus, located in nearby Freeburg, Illinois, build a 750-gpm pumper with a 750-gallon water tank. To fit the pumper under the header on the fire station door in the old city hall building, the roof on a 1953 Ford F800 Big Job cab had to be removed and a lower windshield installed, making the rig one of only two “convertibles” built that year by Towers. The pumper would remain in front-line service well into the 1980s and then become a spare engine. In later years, the department would modify the hosebed on the pumper to make the unit rider-friendly for school children for parades and fire prevention activities in the fall. It was this rig that Shannon remembered from a kindergarten ride and later the rig still being on the department roster when he was a volunteer.

Clark’s career would bring him to the Peoria area in central Illinois, but he maintained his DuQuoin roots through the DuQuoin Evening Call. It was a good thing he did as the newspaper article would give him his chance to own and preserve that piece of DuQuoin history.

The pumper was built by Towers Fire Equipment. Towers was a regional manufacturer of fire apparatus including pumpers, tankers, brush units, and rescue squads. Apparatus was built in Freeburg from 1946 until the late 1990s. Most of its customers were smaller fire departments in southern Illinois and eastern Missouri. The interesting point on the DuQuoin pumper is that it never left the department from 1954 until 2015. Modifications were minimal, and for the age of the pumper, the mechanicals were in very good repair. Even better, none of the equipment was missing—including the bell!

When a piece of vintage fire apparatus is offered for sale by sealed bid, nobody knows for sure how that process will turn out. The seller hopes for big dollars while bidders hope their offer is just enough to fend off any other bids. Having a feature story with a good picture in the local newspaper can often spark added interest. For Clark, a volunteer firefighter with DuQuoin from 2006 to 2009, his bid of just over $2,000.00 was the successful bid! In January 2016, Shannon was the new owner of a vintage fire engine. Soon he would be on his way down to DuQuoin to claim h

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Posted: Feb 23, 2017

Oklahoma Firefighter Dies In Crash On Way To Fire

PHOTO - A firefighter with the Leach Fire Department died Wednesday morning in a single-vehicle crash on his way to a structure fire, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. Troopers say Michael Dale Russell, 68, from Rose, Oklahoma, was pronounced dead at the scene with massive injuries. The crash occurred at about 7:30 a.
- PUB DATE: 2/23/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KOTV-TV CBS 6 Tulsa
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Posted: Feb 23, 2017

FDNY Firefighter James Lee Jr. Named 2017 Courage and Valor Award Recipient

Firefighter James Lee Jr. of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has been named the 2017 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award recipient. The award will be presented on Wednesday during the Opening Ceremony of FDIC International 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Firefighter (FF) James Lee rescued an 81-year-old man from the top-floor rear window of a five-story Old Law tenement that had two railroad flats per floor.
- PUB DATE: 2/23/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fire Engineering
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