Archive for December 23rd, 2013

Matteson house fire 12-22-13 (more)

A few more shots from Dylan Konchan at the fire in Matteson.

Firemen at apartment fire in Matteson IL

Dylan Konchan photo

Flossmoor Fire Departmetn Sutphen quint

Dylan Konchan photo

fire chief Ford Explorer

Dylan Konchan photo

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Another department looks into consolidating emergency dispatch – Lemont FPD (update)

A followup article on the Lemont FIre Protection’s decision to go forward with outsourcing emergency dispatch services:

Lemont’s emergency fire and medical dispatchers last week received notice that their services might be contracted out to an outside provider. The district’s board of trustees Thursday decided to move forward with outsourcing. Lemont’s emergency fire and medical calls will soon be routed through [the] Orland Central call center, as the Fire Protection District Board of Trustees Thursday unanimously approved outsourcing the services.

The positions of the district’s 9 dispatchers—3 full-time and 6 part-time—will be eliminated when the change goes into effect, tentatively by April 1.
“We didn’t take this lightly,” said Fire Chief George Rimbo during the meeting. “We truly believe we’re giving you the recommendation that’s going to set us on the path of the right thing to do.”

The shift is to compensate for funds lacking in the district, following a court decision dictating that the fire district could no longer monitor fire alarms in businesses. Funds allocated for that service previously covered the cost of keeping dispatch in-house, Rimbo said.  Without the funds, it’s not feasible for the district to cover the cost of dispatch operating from within the district, Rimbo said.

At a cost of roughly $116 per call with in-house services, contracting the work through Orland Central could reduce the cost to $39 per call—an estimated annual savings of roughly $235,000, said Rimbo.

Current dispatchers route vehicles based on proximity to one of the district’s four fire stations. Advanced real-time tracking technology used by Orland Central locates ambulances and fire trucks, and reroutes the nearest vehicle to an emergency, Rimbo said.  High-end technology—such as a $1 million computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system—offered by Orland Central is a significant improvement over Lemont’s current $60,000 hardware, Rimbo said.

Orland Central is one of two fire/EMS/rescue dispatch centers in the state, and serves as back-up to the primary statewide MABAS Communication System operated out of Red Center in Northbrook. In 2012, the center’s 11 full-time and 8 part-time staff fielded 19,000 calls across the Orland Fire Protection District and the two additional contracted communities of Oak Forest and Calumet City.  Lemont dispatchers field approximately 3,000 calls per year.

thanks Dan

Our previous post is HERE.

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Matteson house fire 12-22-13

This from Dylan Konchan:

Matteson | 4020 216th St | Tower 5 reported light smoke showing from a 2-story apartment building. Matteson, Frankfort, Richton Park, Park Forest, Oak Forest, and Flossmoor were all on scene.


Tinley Park Fire engine

Dylan Konchan photo

Frankfort Fire District quint

Dylan Konchan photo

Matteson Fire Department fire engine

Dylan Konchan photo

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Brookfield firefighters get new contract

From the Riverside-Brookfiled Landmark:

It took nearly a year for Brookfield police and the village to hammer out a new contract after its previous deal expired at the end of 2012, but settling on a new deal with Brookfield’s firefighters was a much easier task. When village trustees voted unanimously on Dec. 9 to ratify a new three-year deal, they did so three weeks prior to the current contract’s expiration date.

“The relationship between both parties was extremely professional,” said Village manager Riccardo Ginex. “It’s much different than it was years ago.”

Ginex was referring to a not-so-distant past in which Brookfield’s firefighters grudgingly accepted a one-year pay freeze in 2010 rather than swallow layoffs. In the wake of that deal and the turmoil that surrounded it, Brookfield’s firefighters switched union representation from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF).

The two sides hammered out a three-year deal in 2011 that restored pay raises but also required firefighters to pay a bit more for health insurance premiums

The latest contract, which expires on Dec. 31, 2016, holds the line on the percentage firefighters pay for health insurance (15 percent) and includes base pay raises of 2.5 percent, 3 percent and 2.5 percent each year of the deal. But the contract also retains step raises for firefighters during the first six years of their careers, which increase salaries far faster than the base pay raise percentages would suggest.

For example a firefighter starting his career on Jan. 1, 2014 will be paid $56,054. With the step raise included, in 2015 that same firefighter will make $61,697, which is a 10 percent raise. In 2016, his pay will go up to $69,961, a further raise of 13.4 percent. By the end of the contract a firefighter in his  sixth year will be making $87,239. That same firefighter would have been hired in 2010 at a salary of $54,526. In six years, his total pay raise would be 60 percent.

After six years, firefighters no longer are eligible for step raises, according to a salary schedule included in the contract document. Those firefighters receive the base pay raise only each year.

A starting lieutenant will make $90,058 as of Jan. 1, 2014. Lieutenants are afforded step raises in addition to base pay raises for two years after their first at the rank. The lieutenant who began at the rank in 2014 will make $100,325 on Jan. 1, 2016. That’s a total raise of 11.4 percent. After that, lieutenants receive base pay raises only.

One of the more substantive changes in the contract, one requested by the union, according to Ginex, is a provision prohibiting Brookfield firefighters from moonlighting as firefighters or paramedics when they are not on duty in Brookfield. A stated reason for the provision in the contract is to prevent firefighters from suffering job-related injuries while working elsewhere as a firefighter or paramedic. The village of Brookfield would still be liable for paying disability benefits in such a scenario.

However, said Ginex, the IAFF also would like to see all fire departments in the state employ full-time firefighters instead of opting for paid-on-call personnel.

thanks Dan

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