Wally Schroeder, Illinois, 44% discussed on Reset

WBEZ Chicago
| WBEZ Chicago


Of 2019 about 10,000 fireworks injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms across the country, according to the commission. With us now to help keep you safe. This fourth of July. This chief Wally Schroeder, He's head of the Chicago Fire Department's public education Unit High Chief. Welcome to Reset Hey, Good afternoon. Thank you so very much for having me. First asking for a new Chicago in here who may or may not be myself. Um cheap. Why on earth do I hear fireworks every night? Is this a thing in Chicago? Yes. Unfortunately first, let me say Welcome to the greatest city in the world. Thank you. You know what? Yes, unfortunately, it is. People don't really take seriously how dangerous fireworks are, Um, you know, every year we have people, uh, injured. It's just this year. So far are ambulances have transported three victims of fireworks, um, that were severely injured. Uh, that will go through life with these injuries, Um, so they are very serious, and they should not be handled by people that are not such trained properly with that. So this is a thing that happens every summer. Yes. Unfortunately, this time of the year And if you have a pad such as a dog as I do, um you know, it upsets my my animal, My dog. I was part of my family. And if you have a family member that is, you know That was in the military. Um and has pro post traumatic stress. Um, this is a rough time of the year also so really, being cognizant of that and trying to be, you know, kind of good neighbor and knowing shooting off these fireworks are exceptionally dangerous to yourself. Others around you. Well, let's clear up some longstanding misconceptions about fireworks in Chicago. Are there any fireworks that are legal for residents to possess or use in Chicago and Illinois? I can tell you this much in Chicago. No. If you have to light it, you shouldn't be firing it or using it Once again. We leave those to the professionals. Um, they they do have some that are little pop rockets that you throw down. You don't like them Those types of things glow sticks. That's what we recommend, Um, and in the city of Chicago, just so we're clear and outside of this city, I can't speak for what the suburban areas have. But in Chicago sparklers Their band, so we think that they're pretty benign. You know, It's a pretty color and we hand him to the kids and their look around just to keep in mind. Sparkler burns out well, over 1800 degrees um, you know glass burns at 900 degrees. And greater than 44% of the victims are burned by sparklers. Uh and roughly one quarter of the emergency room visits over this weekend will be because the sparkler incidents or accidents, so this is truly preventable. You know, obviously disease and other things that are out there. We can try to prevent, but this is truly preventable. An accident with fireworks is a preventable issue. Don't play with him. Watch the professionals use something. Indiana has among the most lenient fireworks laws. How do you think that impacts fireworks prevention and safety and your job? And do we have any working relationships with Indiana to help stop illegal sales of fireworks into Illinois? Well, you brought up a great point. Well, first of all, as you know, we are to us state with with Indiana right over the border. Very close. Yes, We do. Deal with fire marshals out there and and with the fire department's obviously as you said, and you started off with it is legal there it is not legal to bring it across the border. You know, and it's very difficult. Unfortunately, some of our Illinois ins and Chicagoans across the border and purchase those fireworks that become illegal when you come into our state, and it's not because of the fact we're trying to not allow you to have a good time. We're trying to keep everybody safe. Um, you know, and especially when when things catch on fire. We get a lot of fires that are attributed to, um It's a fireworks and you believe or we've had all this rain. Well, you know, things still catch on fire. We get a lot of back porches. We get a lot of roofs. Those things do have a tendency trying out quite quickly, And they do become combustible. Same thing with, you know, and alleys, garages, those types of things because of careless useless of fireworks, So it becomes a very dangerous, dangerous thing to do. That's why we don't want fireworks only to be handled. Specifically not by the public by the general public but specifically by professionals. So, so we're cleared to that point who does have the right to possess or use fireworks here? There's a special license in order to, um to actually shoot fireworks. You have to be licensed and you have to be approved by the city of Chicago. So we did just don't allow vendors to come in and and display or have a display of fireworks. For instance, new to Chicago while you'll you'll soon find out when our Southside White Sox when they hit a home run, the fireworks display goes off all the individual, the individual doing that. Is licensed to do so. And they have a permit to do so You must be permanent to do so, Which means you have followed all the criteria set forth in order to do that. That's not your common homeowner or neighbor That is going to be able to do that. The same thing with Navy Pier when the fireworks when they do the fireworks displays there and and throughout the city. You. You said that you You want to keep folks safe and not rain on their good time, which I want to make sure that that's that's clear, but but there's going to inevitably be folks who might be listening right now, and they're thinking out. Come on. The kids are coming this weekend. They're going to want some entertainment. So in that case, Chief What should people do Our sparklers? Okay? Absolutely not. And I know absolutely they're thinking it's not going to happen to me. This will never happen to me. I'm very careful. I make sure they're not running with it. I make sure this isn't going to happen. I can't tell you how many ambulance trips there are with people in the back that say, um, this isn't going to happen to me. It never happens to me where it could happen to you. Are you willing to take the chance with your child or loved one? I know I am never that way. I will not put anybody at risk her in jeopardy, especially the ones that I care about. I love you want to protect them, and you don't want them to be in an environment like that glow sticks. Those are wonderful things to have for kids they can use some. They can play with them. It's not going to cause any harm as far as fire or burning them. We just did a news conference with a young lady that was describing the injuries her daughter had when she was five years old. And the first thing that she said was she didn't think it would ever happen to her. She handed her daughter, the sparkler and her daughters stress caught on fire. Well, it is that quickly.

Coming up next