Archive for April 22nd, 2014

State legislation concerns local municipalities

An article from politics Early&Often about municipalities’concerns over HB 5485:

Municipal leaders are sounding the alarm over legislation they say could take decisions regarding fire department staffing levels out of their hands.

Proponents of the measure, which passed the Illinois House earlier this month, say it’s a safety issue, while municipal officials argue it could further stress already tight budgets.

The Senate later this spring is expected to consider the legislation, which would clarify or modify the state’s Public Labor Relations Act that gave police officers and firefighters the right to bargain collectively. The change would allow fire department staffing or minimum manning levels to be negotiated — along with wages, benefits and work rules — and potentially subject to arbitration. If ultimately signed into law, the measure — HB 5485 — wouldn’t apply to Chicago.

Some towns, such as Oak Lawn, already have staffing requirements built into their contracts with firefighters.

What’s alarming municipal officials is that decisions about personnel numbers could, if not worked out at the bargaining table, be made in arbitration on a case-by-case basis.

Groups such as the Northwest Municipal Conference and the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association warn that if communities are required to maintain certain fire staffing levels, it could force layoffs in other areas.

“Manning has never been an issue that could go to arbitration,” Ed Paesel, executive director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, said, adding that the group’s members are “very concerned” about the legislation.

An official with the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois said concerns of municipal officials are overblown. Pat Devaney, president of the labor group, said the legislation doesn’t mandate that communities establish minimum personnel levels and would codify court rulings that have upheld the use of arbitration in maintaining staffing numbers.

In a video she posted earlier this month, Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury described the minimum manning requirements in her community as “archaic,” and said it “ties our hands” as far as allocating municipal resources.

Communities could face huge increases in personnel costs, forcing them to resort to higher property taxes or cuts in other areas, Steve Quigley, executive director of the Will County Governmental League, said. Quigley said that, in Will County, a firefighter costs the average municipality about $130,000 a year with salary, benefits and pension. To raise the staffing level at one fire station by one firefighter would cost the municipality more than three times that in order to cover shifts around the clock, he said.

Eamon O’Dowd, president of Glenview Firefighters Local 4186, said firefighters should have a say in how many of them work each shift. He said village administrators first suggested giving themselves control of manning by reducing daily personnel in January 2011. “This was a proposal, but a policy they wanted while we were in contract negotiations. This should be separate from what’s on the negotiating table,” said O’Dowd, an 18-year paramedic and firefighter with Glenview.

Glenview firefighters also offered to save $300,000 a year by reducing overtime and capping salary raises for two years, O’Dowd said, in return for manning assurances. Despite complaints from firefighters about proper staffing levels, Don Owen, deputy village manager for Glenview, said the bill would reduce municipalities’ ability to govern. “It really would take away what elected officials and village administrators are supposed to do for residents,” he said. “It would not allow us to perform tradeoffs in budgeting and be accountable to residents. It’s a very bad piece of legislation if we’re mandated to staffing levels.”

Patty Schuh, a spokeswoman for Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, said it could be the middle of next month before senators get a good look at the bill. She said Radogno is “gathering input” on the issue and has been hearing from municipal officials who oppose it and firefighters who support it.

thanks Dan

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Glenside FPD working fire 4-18-14

This from John Tulipano::

For once I was in the right place at the right time, but it turned out to be a small fire. At Approximately 08:50 on 4-18-14 Glenside FPD was dispatched to a reported dryer fire at 644 Burdette in Glendale Heights (I was at North Ave and Glen Ellyn Road 2 blocks away!). As I headed down the street looking for the address, DuComm reported all persons out of the house and flames coming from the dryer. I passed the house and saw the homeowner and kids out front as I parked the car. Glendale Heights police were pulling up behind me. Engine 58 and Medic 59 arrived about 2 minutes later and stretched a 1-3/4 attack line and quickly knocked down the fire as the additional companies arrived. In my haste to get set up I forgot to check my ISO and shot all the pictures at 2500 (slightly over exposed thank God for RAW and Lightroom!)

fireman pulling hose

John Tulipano photo


fireman prepares to make entry

John Tulipano photo


fireman with wye adaptor

John Tulipano photo


house fire scene

John Tulipano photo


Ferrara fire engine at fire scene

John Tulipano photo


more photos at

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Chicago ff makes ladder rescue

From ABC7twitter

Chicago firefighters rescue man from fire building

Chicago FF making rescue

From ABC7twitter

Daring rescue: CFD firefighters carry an elderly man out of a burning home in Roseland:

thanks Dan



New engine for North Maine FPD

This from Norm Johnson:

Here’s 2 photos of a new SpartanERV pumper for the North Maine FPD.

I’ll have more after it’s lettered.


fire engine closeup

SpartanERV photo

fire engine picture

New Spartan ERV demo pumper being purchased by the North Maine FPD. Spartan ERV photo

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