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Water fighting in Riverdale

Water fighting in Riverdale

On June 13, the Riverdale Fire Department hosted their annual water fight competition. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it was the first water fight that many of the departments invited were actually able to attend, so it was an impressive turnout of firefighters and their friends and families having a good time.

The competition was re-named this year as the “Analiese Chapman Memorial Waterfight.” In addition to naming the competition after Analiese, who passed away earlier this year from Cystic Fibrosis, the department also unveiled new #TeamAnaliese decals that will be on all RFD apparatuses.

The event was also covered by WHBF and KLJB TV:

Riverdale Fire Department leads a birthday parade for local kids

Riverdale Fire Department leads a birthday parade for local kids

(From a Facebook Post by Council Member Anthony Heddlesten)

Thank you all so much. Truly, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Today, CJ, pretty much my favorite person in the whole wide world turned 5. Unfortunately, the whole wide world is a mess. I’m going to attempt to cover the greatness that has occurred over the past few days:

1) I saw a cool birthday parade and asked if Riverdale Fire Department would do something like that in our town. Brian Ballard, our assistant fire chief, got it all planned out and said we were good to go.

2) I shared the plan on our Riverdale Residents group page and another family pointed out they had a birthday coming up, so we got a whole group together and did a birthday parade last weekend for another little boy down the street.

3) Birthday cards started flowing in this week (my piano is fully covered) Neighbors, friends, and family members filled our mail box with love from afar. Thanks to Dorla Dubbels, Stacey Christensen, Lisa Mintz Kotter, Darold Heddlesten, Yvonne Heddlesten, NaNa Pugh, Melissa Roling-Maher, Jimmy Maher to name a few.

4) Last weekend, our preschool teacher stopped by and dropped off a present and said hello.

5) Friday, Miss Taryn, another preschool teacher met up with me and gave us a present since she couldn’t get to the parade this weekend.

6) This morning, while CJ was sleeping in, our neighbors (Amy Walker Kramer) snuck into the yard with a giant inflatable birthday cake.

7) Ky (Anthony’s wife) and I got some great 5 year old photos of our favorite little guy and then walked down the street to get some additional pics with his new best friend, and Riverdale Heights favorite, Molly Curran.

8 ) we got a fun good morning happy birthday message from cousin Ben.

9) we had a zoom birthday party and got WAAAAYYYY too many LEGO.

10) Just before the parade was supposed to start we got to have a birthday party with the other side of the family.

11) We got a message from another YWCA of the Quad Cities daycare teacher that she is in a Quad Cities Jeep group that’s just driving from party to party. Several Jeep owners, who we’ve literally never met, even provided some cool Jeep related presents. (Keep an eye out for the minion mobile QC!)

12) I GET A PARADE TOO?!?! CJ exclaimed as RFD and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office rolled by tooting their horns and flashing their lights. Followed by neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc.

13) Many of the drivers threw out additional surprises (cards, candy, a minion doll, even toilet paper!)

14) Facebook messages galore have come in throughout the day.

15) A few friends also trickled through after the parade singing happy birthday, wishing us well, hosting an impromptu Wisconsin Jump Around equipped with New Glarus beer, and reminding us how fortunate we all are.

So, again, thank you. Today was more than we could’ve hoped for. So much more. CJ is in seventh heaven today.

Riverdale flies the RFD flag at half staff today. Here’s why …

Riverdale flies the RFD flag at half staff today. Here’s why …

The flag for the Riverdale Fire Department will be flown at half-staff today to honor the life of Firefighter Analiese Chapman. The Celebration of Life Ceremony for Analiese will take place at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf today at 1pm. The event is open to the public, but please keep in mind that seating is limited.

Fire trucks and other emergency service vehicles are expected to travel from the convention center to the cemetery in Le Claire where Analiese’s remains will be interred. That journey will take them up State Highway 67 (State Street) past the Riverdale Fire Station.

By proclamation of the mayor, the department flag will continue to fly on the pole at City Hall for the remainder of the month of February to honor the service provided by the men and women of the Riverdale Fire Department.

Visitation and Celebration of Life planned for fallen Riverdale firefighter

Visitation and Celebration of Life planned for fallen Riverdale firefighter

Riverdale bids goodbye to Firefighter Analiese Chapman who passed away on February 2 due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. A visitation is planned for Friday (02/07) and a Celebration of Life service on Saturday (02/08) at the Waterfront Convention Center. Both the visitation and the Celebration of Life service are open to the public, but seating is limited.

Fire departments from Riverdale, Le Claire and around the greater Quad Cities will join together to celebrate a life taken too soon.

Visitation will be held at the Waterfront Convention Center (2021 State Street in Bettendorf), starting at 3pm on Friday, February 7th.

The first responder community in the Quad Cities has shown their solidarity with Riverdale and Le Claire fire departments for their loss already and are invited to participate in the visitation on Friday. Fire departments and other emergency service providers attending in their service vehicles are asked to stage their vehicles at 6:15pm at the convention center. Service personnel are encouraged to participate in a “Sea of Blue” starting at 7pm and continue until all personnel have had an opportunity to express their condolences.

A Celebration of Life service is planned for 1pm the following day (Saturday, February 8th) at the Waterfront Convention Center, as well. Dennis Glew, a Riverdale resident and the RFD’s chaplain, will speak at the ceremony. A luncheon is planned following the service and will be held at the Le Claire fire station (201 North 15th Street in Le Claire, Iowa).

The City of Riverdale will commemorate Analiese’s passing by lowering the flag for the Riverdale Fire Department (located at City Hall) to half-staff again on Saturday, from sunrise to sunset. The flag was also lowered on Tuesday to mark Analiese’s return home to the Quad Cities from Iowa City where she was undergoing care.

The City will continue to fly the department flag throughout the month of February in honor of the men and women of the Riverdale Fire Department who set a great example for all residents with their love and compassion for their 20 year-old colleague. A Mayoral Proclamation will be presented and read into the record at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting to commemorate the events of the past week.

More information about Analiese, her journey and the shared memories of friends and family can be found on her online obituary page. Donations can be made to the Team Analiese Memorial Fund. For more information about that fund, please check out the Team Analiese Facebook Page.

Images from Analiese’s Celebration of Life Service

Check out this gallery of pictures from Tim Olk, a photographer from Chicago who came to the Quad Cities to shoot photos of the event and share them with the Riverdale Fire Department and our community. Thanks, Tim!

Riverdale mourns loss of firefighter Analiese Chapman

Riverdale mourns loss of firefighter Analiese Chapman

You can download this memorial graphic (righ-click and save) and add it to your social media profile.

Riverdale firefighter, Analiese Chapman, passed away from complications related to Cystic Fibrosis on Sunday, February 2, 2020. Analiese was a twenty year-old from Le Claire, Iowa and was remembered by her brothers and sisters at the Riverdale Fire Department for her spunk and great attitude.

“She joked around with everybody and pulled pranks on people,” Assistant Fire Chief Brian Ballard told Linda Cook, reporter for the Quad-City Times. “She was a very, very strong girl, probably the strongest girl I’ve ever known.”

“Her optimism really affected the department,” recalled Mayor Mike Bawden. “The guys and gals who make up the Riverdale Fire Department family were solidly part of ‘Team Analiese’ – showing their support and love for this young woman and her family in a truly extraordinary way.”

“It’s just one more thing that makes the Riverdale Fire Department a vital part of who we are here in Riverdale,” the mayor explained. Even though most of the fire department’s volunteers live outside of the City (like Analiese did), the RFD provides a shared “home” for everyone – and it’s been that way for over fifty years.

In a related story on the KWQC-TV website, reporter Courtney Spinelli, shared some footage of Analiese from an earlier story, detailing her fight against Cystic Fibrosis and her brave recovery attempt.

The statement provided by the Riverdale Fire Department announcing Alanliese’s passing, issued on Sunday afternoon, read:

It is with great sadness that the Riverdale Fire Department shares with the community that Riverdale Firefighter Analiese Chapman passed away on February 2, 2020 from complications related to Cystic Fibrosis.  Firefighter Chapman has been a member of the Riverdale Fire Department since November 2017.   Firefighter Chapman was blessed with a lung transplant in 2019 and unfortunately became ill this past December.  Firefighter Chapman will always, and forever be a firefighter and part of the Riverdale Fire Department family.  We ask everyone to please keep the Chapman family and the brothers and sisters of the Riverdale Fire Department in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  Funeral arrangements will be released in the upcoming days. 

The City will fly the Riverdale Fire Department flag at half-staff in her honor on Tuesday, February 4. Funeral arrangements are pending.

City to repair RFD air compressor

City to repair RFD air compressor

At its last meeting of the year, the Riverdale City Council agreed to fund repairs to the Riverdale Fire Department’s air compressor system (not to exceed $8,000 in expenses). A copy of the resolution and copies of estimated costs of repair can be found here.

Part of a larger discussion

The discussion concerning the nature, cost and funding of the repair (versus replacement) touched on a number of key factors facing the Council and fire department for 2020. Chief among them was whether or not the cost for purchasing, managing and maintaining the air compressor system should be a cost born solely by the City of Riverdale when other departments in the county benefited from using the system – whether the balance of the RFD is present at the site of the fire, or not.

The air compressor is approaching the end of its serviceable life (20 years) and everyone acknowledged that the approved repair would only be a stop-gap measure at best, so discussions about what kind of system should replace it and how it should be funded will be a high priority item for next year.

The compressor is currently mounted on a truck. If the replacement compressor is significantly larger, it may require modifications to the existing truck or a different vehicle, altogether.

The Riverdale Fire Department has been working with Council Member Paul DCamp on a long-range plan for the department that takes the needs and capabilities of surrounding departments and major industrial concerns (like Arconic and the Magellan Tank Farm) into consideration. There is not a delivery date set for that plan as of today.


It’s National Fire Prevention Week!

It’s National Fire Prevention Week!

The Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department (RVFD) and the City of Riverdale remind you to make sure you’re prepared to deal with the fire risks in your home and business.

According to a news release from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), fire departments across the country are joining together with the organization to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

NFPA statistics show that in 2017 U.S. fire departments responded to 357,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 2,630 fire deaths and 10,600 fire injuries. On average, seven people died in a fire in a home per day during 2012 to 2016.

“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.

While NFPA and the RVFD are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said RVFD Fire Chief, Floyd Bruns. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”


What you can do to help

The best thing you can do is follow this simple guide on how to make a Home Fire Escape Plan. It’s simple to do, but the time you spend preparing today can save your life (or the life of a loved one) in the future.

Interested in learning more? Check out these handy fact sheets:

•   What you need to know about home fire sprinklers
•   What you need to know about smoke alarms
•   Tips for creating your home escape route

And finally, feel free to share the information below on your favorite social media network (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and be sure to tag: #RiverdaleVolunteerFireDepartment or #RVFD!


Riverdale firefighters welcome local heroes as they take their “Honor Flight” to Washington, DC.

Riverdale firefighters welcome local heroes as they take their “Honor Flight” to Washington, DC.

Riverdale Firefighters stand under a gigantic US flag at the entrance to the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Bettendorf.

Riverdale Firefighters stand under a gigantic US flag at the entrance to the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Bettendorf. Riverdale and Bettendorf firefighters created an archway with their ladder trucks under which the veterans and their escorts passed as they went to their pre-flight dinner on September 11, 2019.

Members of the Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department were on hand to welcome some of America’s greatest generation as veterans from WWII and the Korean War prepare to leave the Quad Cities on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC.

The flight, the 49th of its kind originating out of the Quad Cities, occurred on Thursday, September 12th. A pre-flight dinner was held the night before at the Isle of Capris Casino Hotel in Bettendorf. This was the 11th local flight to be sponsored by Hy-Vee.

The 113 veterans were escorted by volunteer guardians and took a one-day tour of our nation’s capital.

Scenes from the event can be found on the Quad-City Times/Bettendorf News website.

RVFD to sell used airpacs to other communities in need of back-ups.

RVFD to sell used airpacs to other communities in need of back-ups.

At the Council’s September 10th meeting, Riverdale Fire Chief, Floyd Bruns, gained City Council approval to sell retired SCBA units to some smaller communities that need back-up air units for their volunteer fire departments.

Chief Bruns explained that smaller departments in the county could not afford to replace their breathing units (like Riverdale did earlier this year) and, as a result, were running short of reliable back-up units to use. 

The Council agreed to have Chief Bruns negotiate the sale of the units and proposed that the funds from the sale would be put into the fire department’s equipment repair and replacement fund. 

Selling the units and designating where the revenues should go will require a resolution of the City Council at a later date (once terms of a sale have been established).

Riverdale fire fighters surpass 1,000 hours of training for 2018

Riverdale fire fighters surpass 1,000 hours of training for 2018

Congratulations to the nearly 30 volunteers in the Riverdale Fire Department. Last Monday’s training exercise pushed twenty of them past 50 hours of intense training this year and moved the balance of the department along the goal of doubling the a state-required standard of 24 hours’ training every calendar year.

According to the department’s Facebook Page, Monday night’s training was search and rescue and communication. The fire fighters we able to reach little over 12 feet by stretching as far as they could.

The firemen’s masks were covered with hoods so they couldn’t see and were forced to communicate with each other to coordinate their actions.

RFD fire fighters meet at City Hall on Monday nights at 6:30 for 2-3 hours of training every week of the year.

Check out the video and photos of our firefighters in action – albeit at floor level:

RFD fires up some “little squirts” at Hy-Vee

RFD fires up some “little squirts” at Hy-Vee

Kudos to the Riverdale Fire Department for the great job they did teaching kids and their families the essentials of fire safety at Hy-Vee last Sunday. Special thanks to all the volunteers.

Follow the Riverdale Fire Department on Facebook to keep up with everything they do!

Riverdale, McCausland and LeClaire Fire Departments use Welch house for training.

Riverdale, McCausland and LeClaire Fire Departments use Welch house for training.

Kudos to Chief Floyd Bruns, Assistant Chief Brian Ballard and the rest of the Riverdale Fire Department for maximizing the training opportunity afforded by burning down the old Welch farm house on State Street. Developer Seth Woods generously gave permission and access to the property for the training fire.

Firefighters from McCausland and LeClaire also participated in the exercise.

You can see video from the training fire as well as other pictures – and keep up on your favorite volunteer fire department – by following the RFD on Facebook.