Retirement of Kevin Christianson
The Mount Prospect Firefighters Union would like to congratulate FF/PM Kevin Christianson on his retirement after 33 years of dedicated service to the Village of Mount Prospect. Kevin was very involved with the department. Among may things, Kevin was a paramedic preceptor to numerous students, and headed up the Hazmat team for years. He was a hazmat instructor, teaching hundreds of firefighters about hazmat incident mitigation with an unparalleled passion.
Enjoy your retirement Kevin!
Our Sincere Condolences
To the City of Baltimore. Three of their bravest made the ultimate sacrifice when a structure they were fighting a fire in collapsed. The city’s fire department identified the dead as Lt. Paul Butrim, firefighter/paramedic Kelsey Sadler and EMT/firefighter Kenny Lacayo. A fourth firefighter, John McMaster, is in fair condition. Though the rowhome was vacant, firefighters chose to enter it anyway because a neighboring house was still occupied. Rest in peace.
Our Sincere Condolences
The Mount Prospect Firefighters would like to express our sincere condolences to the Sterling Illinois Fire Department, and family of Lieutenant Garrett Ramos, who died in the line of duty fighting a house fire. He was in the structure when the floor collapsed beneath him. He was a 9 year veteran, and leaves behind a wife and two children. Rest in peace brother.
We Are Asking For You Help
It is with great sadness we, the members of Local 4119, are asking for your help. On August 14, 2021 our brother Mitch Winkelmann suffered a severe spinal cord injury. The prognosis is unknown at this point however we are positive it will be a long difficult road. The members of Local 4119 ask for your help and consideration in making a donation to the go fund me account set up to assist Mitch. This tragedy is especially heart breaking as Mitch has only been with the Mt. Prospect Fire Department for a little over two years and was just recently married to his wife Sarah last year. Please keep Mitch and his family in your thoughts for a strong recovery.
Best Wishes To Fire Chief Brian Lambel
Chief Lambel is retiring from the Mt. Prospect Fire Department after twenty-one years of dedicated service. We the members of Local 4119 would like to extend our warmest wishes to Brian while he continues his journey of dedicated civil service as he begins his new role, Fire Chief for the Village of Wilmette. Brian spent many years with Local 4119 as an Executive Board member helping through multiple labor management outcomes. As such his leadership skills were unmistakable and his advancement through the ranks was inevitable. We have been very fortunate to follow his leadership over the past five years during his time as Fire Chief for Mt. Prospect. Labor management between Local 4119 and the Village of Mt. Prospect has been strengthened do to the efforts and service of Chief Lambel. Thank you for your service and best of luck in your new role.
Our Newest Member
We would like to welcome our newest member, Probationary Firefighter Matthew Ekner. He will be sworn in on Monday August 16th with badge number 191. We look forward to Matthew to be a quick study as he furthers his career with the members of Mt. Prospect Local 4119. Please welcome Matthew as he begins this chapter.
Excited To Announce
After being appointed on an interim basis on April 16th, John Dolan is being appointed to lead our fire department as Fire Chief on Tuesday June 15th. One of the many decisions Chief Dolan made was on April 27th to appoint Lt. Tom Wang to interim Deputy Chief. This appointment will also become permanent on Tuesday June 15th. To fill the vacancy left by the appointment of Lt. Wang, FF/P Brad Bocox will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant at the combined ceremony also on June 15th. The members of Local 4119 look forward the new leadership and want to congratulate Fire Chief Dolan, Deputy Chief Wang and Lt. Bocox.
Assistance For Lt Christiansen’s Wife
Please consider donating to the Christensen family in their time of need.
This is Richard & Kim’s Story:
My wife has been dealing with multiple sclerosis for 25 years. She has relapsing remitting form which means that gradually overtime she has declined in mobility and health related to the MS. The MS has affected mostly her left side resulting in weakness in her arm and leg and she has lost 40% of her vision in her left eye due to damage from optic neuritis from the MS. Kim has adapted well and learned her limitations with all this.
Then tragically on December 22 at 8 PM, Kim suffered a major stroke that resulted in her losing her speech and all of her right side. The stroke was in her left medial cerebral artery (the main blood supply left side of brain) and the doctors had to go in and retrieve the clot as she was not a candidate for TPA. She had an ischemic stroke caused by vasculitis that the neurologist believes was caused by the MS medicines Kim was on. Kim Spent seven days in the ICU and then a step down unit.
On New Year’s Day, she was then transferred to an acute rehab hospital. By this time Kim was speaking a few words, but it was obvious she had cognitive as well as short term memory issues related to the stroke besides the loss of her right side which, is also her dominant side. Kim was there for three weeks where she did extensive rehab to learn how to use her left side as much as possible. Kim came home on January 24 and to be perfectly honest, I was scared to death how I was going to take care of her. Mind you, due to COVID, I only got to see Kim once the whole time before she came home. Kim still needs extensive rehab as we have a nurse that comes once a week. Occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy come twice a week for the next month and reevaluate her each month. Kim has been improving baby steps and so thankful for that, but she has a long road ahead of her yet.
Currently, Kim is in a wheelchair and is sleeping in a hospital bed in our living room that is on the first floor and I sleep on an air mattress next to her so I can be close to her. Our house is a two-story house and my ultimate goal is to be able to get her to sleep in her own bed upstairs and to be able to take a shower as there are no showers on the main level and all I can do is give her sponge baths. There are many things I am grateful for, the support of family and friends, family that is taking care of Kim so I can go to work. But I am really surprised what insurance doesn’t cover: Mobility devices, stairlift systems, rehab equipment, etc. Some of which is just astronomical priced.
Thank you very much for reading this and considering to donate for my wife so I can try and give her a life as close to normal as I can.