Archive for March 29th, 2014

Antioch looking at tax referendum for EMS

The Daily Herald has an article about a new tax levy to fund EMS operations in Antioch.

Antioch-area officials say they will streamline the area’s emergency services by creating a new unified fire and rescue operation and ask residents to help fund it. The proposal, which could be launched within two months, would put the Antioch Fire Department in charge of all fire and rescue services covering the village of Antioch and Antioch Township. It would be overseen by a new five-member emergency services board.

A key component is creating the area’s first tax levy for emergency services. Antioch Fire Chief John Nixon said members of the area’s fire safety commission are beginning to meet with village and township leaders about placing a 25-cent property tax rate referendum on the November ballot. If the referendum lands on the ballot and is approved by voters, the owner of a $150,000 home would pay about $140 annually to fund the new operation, Nixon said.

The measure would include separate questions for village and township voters, and approval of both would generate about $1.6 million annually for the fire department, he said.

The proposal from the fire safety commission — made up of township and village officials — would overhaul the confusing system of fire and rescue services in the Antioch area. Currently, the First Fire Protection District of Antioch, the Antioch Rescue Squad and the Antioch Fire Department share responsibility for providing emergency medical service in the 37-square-mile area.

The fire district covers fire calls in the village and the unincorporated areas of the township. Rescue calls are split between the fire department in the village and Antioch Rescue Squad in the unincorporated areas.

Next steps call for village and township boards to sign an intergovernmental agreement naming the Antioch Fire Department as the sole provider of fire and rescue service in the area. The five-member emergency services board would replace the current three-member First Fire Protection District board, Nixon said. That new board — made up of appointed representatives from the village and township — would oversee the fire department operation.

The same intergovernmental agreement would require the village and township to provide any additional funding needed above and beyond the tax levy proceeds.

The fire department would staff three stations to create an overlap of coverage, officials said. Two stations are in the village, which generates 65 percent of the fire calls. The third station on Grass Lake Road would serve unincorporated areas in Antioch Township.

Currently, the village, township, insurance companies and private fundraising donations cover operating costs for the three emergency agencies serving the area. Nixon said it’s impossible to continue funding fire and rescue operations that way.

Antioch Village Administrator Jim Keim said the village pays about $66,000 a month to Metro Paramedic Service to staff village-owned ambulances at the Antioch Fire Department and to handle rescue calls. The village recoups about 50 percent of the total cost from the patients or insurance reimbursements, he said. The difference, he said, falls on the local government to fund.

“We need to find a way to fund this,” Keim said. “Until then, it will put stress on the village’s general fund and a shortfall will exist.” One casualty of the overhaul was the Antioch Rescue Squad (ARS). The First Fire District announced last week it would not renew a contract with Antioch Rescue Squad, ending their partnership. The contract expires in May.

It’s the latest loss for the 75-year-old volunteer-based group beset by problems that have undermined its influence and importance since May 2012. Nixon said the rescue squad operated as a subcontractor for the fire district, and the service wasn’t renewed. ARS Chief Brian DeKind said Friday the group will now shift its focus to community paramedicine, including wellness checks and home health care.

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Former Huntley FPD ladder truck in new home

This from Kevin Griffen:

Here is the X-Huntley truck in its new home

used fire truck finds second home

This former Huntley FPD truck is now in Shavertown, PA. Shavertown FD photo

Truck 251 is a 2002 Pierce Dash purchased from Huntley Illinois in September of 2013 . It is equipped with a 8 man cab, 2000 GPM pump and a 500 Gallon water tank. Carries 800? of 5? supply line as well as 300? 3? supply line. It has 4 preconnected crosslays (2) 1 3/4?  x 200? , (1) 2 1/2? x 200? and (1) 2? x 200? as well as (1) 1 3/4? x 150? trashline. It  also carries 10 Scott Nxg2 4500 psi SCBA as well as a full compliment of truck company tools including saws, hooks and ventilation fans. Also it carries rope rescue equipment, Thermal Imaging Camera and first aid equipment.  Also it has MDT with preplanning software as well as CAD software with mapping.

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Oak Park buys new tower ladder (update)

Fire Service, Inc. posted these construction photos to their FaceBook page of the new tower ladder for Oak Park.

1st Low Profile E-ONE Cyclone Cab in the Chicagoland area being constructed for Oak Park’s Platform.

fre truck being built

Cab being built for Oak Park’s tower ladder. Fire Service, Inc. photo

fire truck being built

1st Low Profile E-ONE Cyclone Cab in the Chicagoland area being constructed for Oak Park’s Platform. Fire Service, Inc. photo

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