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October 29, 2018

Photo Essay: Hyde Park Fire Station


Chicago Fire Department from 100 feet in the air

Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

Late at night or when studying for a midterm, it is not uncommon to hear the deafening sirens of firetrucks or ambulances roaring down streets. Fire drills while writing a paper can totally interrupt the groove of the assignment. But of course, the rescue team at Chicago Fire Department Engine Company 60 responsible for the ruckus is vitally important for everything from assisting citizens with mobility issues to putting out structural infernos.     

The Maroon recently paid a visit to Chicago Fire Department Engine Company 60 and found its firefighters to be overwhelmingly welcoming. The firefighters graciously showed us around their station and told us about their jobs. They took us up over 100 feet in their ladder, brought us down to their basement where they showed us their gym and racquetball court, and even offered us food for breakfast. The station itself was impressive, but the spirit of the firefighters was even more so. 

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Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

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Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon
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A hose nozzle on Tower Co. 37

Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

Almost all the members of Chicago Fire Department Engine Company 60 had childhood dreams of firefighting. And with years now on the job, none are disillusioned, but instead have remained devoted to their jobs. Their career path is undoubtedly a difficult one, since they must go into each 24-hour shift with no clue as to what tasks the workday will require of them. Furthermore, the pay they receive forces most of them to work side jobs. But their childhood awe of firefighting still keeps many of them going as adults.

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Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

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Firefighting apparel stored in one of the communal closet spaces

Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

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A tattered and smoke-blackened flag hanging in the underground gym

Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

The firefighters told us about their friendly rivalry with the police department in the lead-up to their annual baseball games and boxing matches. They told us how when a new person joins their team, dishwashing duties are delegated to that person. They told us about an old department chief who was unbeatable at racquetball, but how there was some recent flooding that rendered the court temporarily unusable. They told us about the love and respect they have for one another and for Hyde Park.

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Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

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"Hall of Fame" pictures of past firefighters hung in the lounging area

Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

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Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

Getting to know these people, who better the lives of so many through their work, was a humbling experience. Standing 100 feet above the street and seeing that unobstructed 360-degree view of the city and campus—the beautiful area they are tasked with protecting—it is easy to fall in love with the job and the idea of joining that team of heroes.

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Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon
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One of the firefighters' mottos hangs above their door

Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon
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Interior of the hose tower on top of the fire station

Audrey Teo / The Chicago Maroon
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Tower Co. 37 and Engine Co. 60 seen from 100 feet in the air on their extended ladder

Jeremy Lindenfeld / The Chicago Maroon

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