Archive for June 22nd, 2013

Barrington Countryside FPD update

More from the Daily Herald on the discussions between the Village of Barrington and the Barrington & Countryside FPD:

Barrington officials Friday said they didn’t believe a proposal from the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District to lease 18 firefighters for two years really addressed the village’s concerns over the long-term pension and disability costs for these employees.

Such an arrangement would keep these firefighters village employees and such costs a village responsibility, Village President Karen Darch said.

“They don’t really define what they mean by ‘lease,'” she said of the district’s proposal.

The offer has added another step to what had seemed the intended end of the village and fire district’s long-standing contractual relationship on Jan. 1.

The district covers a 48-square-mile area outside of Barrington, but has always contracted its fire protection and paramedic services from the village’s fire department.

The district’s expansion plans — which include hiring seven more firefighters and planning for yet a further station — have brought what could be seen as a natural end to the cost-effective relationship the two agencies once had, Barrington Village Manager Jeff Lawler said.

The village provides twice as many employees to the district as the village’s own jurisdiction requires. Though the district pays its share of these employees’ costs, it is the village that remains on the hook for pension and disability payments whenever the district ends the contract.

Darch said village taxpayers shouldn’t be responsible for more than the costs of the employees the village needs.

Even under the two-year lease arrangement the district is proposing, there’s a potential risk of $160 million to the village if all 18 firefighters became catastrophically injured, Darch said.

This is based on a combination of their ages and future earning potentials. A catastrophic injury to a 26-year-old firefighter could cost the village $11.5 million in disability payments, she said.

District board President Tom Rowan said further discussion was intended all along. He added that the proposal was necessarily sketchy as many details would need to be worked out mutually.

The firefighters union is supporting the district’s proposal, even if it requires further discussion, union President Eric Brouilette said.

The district opened bids from five private firefighter-paramedic firms this week, offering a first year of service for amounts ranging from $2.6 million to $3.9 million.

But these prices are based on the firms’ costs and don’t take into consideration the higher experience levels the district would like to retain from the firefighters it currently receives from the village.

This week’s proposal seeks to combine 18 of them — who would otherwise be laid off by the village — with firefighters provided by the private firms.

“We spent a lot of money on training,” Rowan said of the Barrington firefighters. “We know how good they are. And they know the area.”

But district trustees are considering a tax-hike referendum to provide such pensions, which could appear on ballots as early as March 2014.

The district’s jurisdiction includes parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

Barrington, meanwhile, has hired a consultant to recommend a new structure for its fire department after the anticipated expiration of its contract with the district.

The entire article is HERE.

thanks Chris

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Extra Alarm in Downstate Hoopeston IL

This from

Hoopeston tire fire under control

Hoopeston’s massive fire that started early Wednesday morning in a tire recycling facility is now a just smoldering mass.

HOOPESTON — The sky above Hoopeston is much clearer today as the massive fire that started early Wednesday morning in a tire recycling facility is now a smoldering mass of burned rubber and other materials.

On the scene Thursday morning at J&R Used Tire Service Inc., 103 Maple St., Hoopeston Mayor Bill Crusinberry said the fire has been suppressed, but departments with ladder trucks continue to spray water on hot spots as excavators and other heavy equipment is used to pull out tires and sheets of the metal roof, which collapsed on top of the tires.

The heavy, black smoke that boiled up from the building on Wednesday is gone although officials with the federal and state environmental protection agencies are one the scene monitoring air quality, which is still one of the biggest concerns, according to the mayor.

He said 400 to 500 homes in a six to seven block area were evacuated Wednesday because of the thick black smoke, but it was up to the discretion of those residents if they wanted to return to their homes last night.

He said he assumes some did, while others stayed with friends or family and about six people stayed at the shelter set up by the Red Cross.

The more than 100 firefighters from departments in East Central Illinois and west central Indiana has been reduced to about 30 firefighters today.

Crusinberry said he and all the officials involved at the scene had a command meeting at 6 a.m. today, and they are optimistic that the white smoke that continues to drift from the site will be gone this afternoon, and Illinois 9 can be reopened.

Railroad traffic was stopped for 24 hours, he said, because of the heavy smoke affecting the CSX rail line immediately west of the building. Even some railroad ties caught fire.

The complete article is HERE.

thanks Chris

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Calumet City Fire Department apparatus history

This from Martin Nowak:

Here are some old photos of the Calumet City Fire Department.

Thanks to Squad546 and L. Groszewski for allowing me to use these photos.

Former Engine 305 – 1969 Mack, before refurb
Former Engine 305 – 1969/1984 Mack/Specialty
Former Engine 303 – Kenworth/E-One. Might have been a 1985
Next three are from L. Groszewski
Former Snorkel 1 (Taken in 1977)
Former Engine 305 in 1977
Old Ambulance (Taken in 1977)
Calumet City Fire Department

Squad546 photo

Calumet City Fire Department

Squad546 photo


Calumet City Fire Department

Squad546 photo

Calumet City Fire Department

L. Groszewski photo

Calumet City Fire Department

L. Groszewski photo

Calumet City Fire Department

L. Groszewski photo


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