In preparation of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department and Chicago Park District, to emphasize that safety is a priority when celebrating and enjoying the many events and activities the city has to offer.
“Members of Chicago’s Police and Fire Departments, along with other sister agencies, will be working around the clock and increasing manpower this Fourth of July weekend to protect communities across the city,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “While our first responders play an indispensable role in bringing peace to our neighborhoods, we must all pull together as Chicagoans to ensure everyone can enjoy the holiday weekend free from the fear of violence."
As part of the City’s preparations for the busy holiday weekend, public safety departments are enhancing staffing throughout the weekend to ensure the safety and security of the city. OEMC has activated Chicago’s Emergency Operations Center to ensure coordination and communication among key City, Sister Agency and private sector partners. The department is also reminding residents, participants, spectators, motorists and pedestrians to be cognizant of their surroundings for the safety of all while enjoying the many festivities.
“We will be monitoring conditions and several large-scale events throughout the city during the Fourth of July weekend,” said Rich Guidice, OEMC Executive Director. “As always, public safety is our top priority, so Chicagoans and visitors can have a safe and enjoyable experience wherever they choose to celebrate.”
Over 1,500 officers have been added to CPD’s regular deployment and individuals can expect to see a heavier presence of officers in and around major transit hubs and thoroughfares. More than 100 officers will be designated to patrol parks and the lakefront while several traffic safety initiatives are planned for Lake Shore Drive
CTA cameras will be live-monitored by CPD throughout the holiday and weekend, including the nearly 50 newly installed additional high-definition security cameras at the Clark/Division, Chicago/State and Grand/State red line train stations.
“The dedicated men and women of the Chicago Police Department will be working around the clock over the July 4th holiday to ensure the safety of every Chicagoan,” said Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson. “Our Summer Mobile and Mass Transit Teams, as well as the Marine Unit and DUI Saturation Teams will be deployed through Chicago to deter crime before incidents occur. Please stay safe while celebrating with family and friends.”
Along with the barbecues, family and fun associated with the Fourth of July, the Chicago Fire Department wants people to remember the potential dangers of fireworks, including extreme burns, fires and even death. Residents are encouraged to not set off their own fireworks, but rather go to one of the many public shows the City has organized.
“We want to remind all residents that fireworks are not toys – they’re illegal in Chicago, which is why all residents should leave the fireworks to the professionals and attend one of the many public displays taking place this holiday,” said Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II. "Chicago’s firefighters and paramedics are on-deck in full force this holiday to ensure the city’s residents have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.”
Due to the increases in water incidents in the summer months, the Chicago Fire Department will also deploy two additional boats in service, with the one summer boat dedicated to the Chicago River and Chicago Riverwalk. Both boats are now Advanced Life Support (ALS), meaning they have the full capability of an EMS ambulance.
From Grant Park to Independence Park, Chicago Park District is hosting a number of parades, festivals and firework displays tomorrow to celebrate the Fourth of July. Chicago Park District is also reminding all residents that swimming at Chicago’s beaches is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. In the case of extremely hot weather, OEMC will coordinate with CTA to ensure cooling buses are available for the public.
“Our city’s parks and lakefront are popular destinations for Fourth of July festivities,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly. “We urge residents to be safe by following the rules at our beaches and neighborhood pools, properly discarding hot coals in designated red cans and reminding patrons that fireworks are illegal and strictly prohibited in our parks.”
Additional Safety Tips for the Fourth of July:
To help ensure a fun day at the beach for everyone, please be safe in the water, clean up after yourself and be respectful of other beachgoers. Green flags will indicate that swimming conditions are good, while yellow flags will be used when residents need to exercise caution. When red flags are displayed, swimming is not permitted in the lake. For more information on times, swimming conditions and a map of Chicago's beaches, please visit: www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/beaches.
The Chicago Police and Fire Departments are reminding the public that all fireworks are illegal in the City of Chicago. Many injuries and traumas to the eyes, fingers and face are a potential danger of any type of firework and parents can be criminally responsible for child endangerment if they permit children to use fireworks.
Precautions for Pets
Chicago Animal Care and Control is encouraging residents to leave their pets at home this holiday weekend when attending firework displays, parades or other festivals. Keep fireworks, sparklers and charcoal away for all pets and do not let pets near any barbecue grills while it is in use.
The Chicago Department of Buildings reminds residents to take time this summer to inspect decks, porches, balconies and stairs for needed repairs and to always use decks and porches safely. If problems are identified, stop using the porch, balcony, deck or stairs immediately and report the concerns to the building owner or property manager.
Several major events with large crowds are scheduled for this week, including, Fourth of July celebrations at Navy Pier, Windy City Rib Fest in Uptown, the African/Caribbean International Festival Life at Washington Park, the Crosstown Classic South Series at Guaranteed Rate Field and the CONCACAF Gold Soccer Match at Soldier Field. Attendees at holiday events as well as the traveling public are urged to be aware of surroundings and report suspicious activity to 9-1-1. It is advised to check weather conditions and plan accordingly.
For alerts on traffic disruptions, weather alerts and emergency notifications, follow OEMC on Twitter via the handle @ChicagoOEMC or register at www.NotifyChicago.org .