Archive for May 17th, 2014

Kankakee FD is losing four positions

The Daily Journal has an article about personnel cuts coming to Kankakee.

Nearly a dozen Kankakee city jobs will be cut or not filled this year after the city proposed deep cuts to its budget. The $22.5 million spending plan — more than $550,000 less than last year’s — was unanimously passed by the Kankakee City Council’s budget committee on Monday and would push the fire department to its lowest manpower level in 10 years. Four spots there will go unfilled as will at least one in the police department.

With the loss of $2.4 million in sales tax sharing agreements, the new budget would also cut four non-officer positions in the Kankakee Police Department, two code enforcement officers and the elimination of the personnel department.

The city’s budget also includes new taxes and fees, including a $10-per-month public safety fee and a $40 vehicle sticker tax. Those are projected to bring in more than $1.2 million per year.

The fire department will be a 49-member force and the police department will be down to 69 officers. In addition to personnel cuts, the fire department cut an additional $76,000 from its budget while the police department trimmed another $60,000 in other expenses, according to city comptroller Elizabeth Kubal. The personnel cuts in the fire department totaled $260,000 and the police employee cuts equaled $242,000.

With the $2.4-million reduction as the target, the city projects the cuts will reach $2,398,869.

thanks Dan

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Chicago double LODD 12-22-10 (update)

The Chicago Tribune has an article about a short prison term for the owner of a building that collapsed December 22, 2010 which resulted in the death of two Chicago firefighters: FF Edward J. Stringer and FF/EMT Corey D. Ankum.

A Chicago building owner pleaded guilty to contempt of court and was sentenced Thursday to six months in Cook County Jail for failing to make court-ordered repairs to the abandoned structure before it collapsed in a fire, killing two Chicago firefighters in late 2010.

At the time of the charges, an attorney for Chuck Dai had been critical of the unusual criminal prosecution, but on Thursday, the attorney, Gene Murphy, said Dai pleaded guilty in part to spare the families of those killed and injured in the fire from sitting through a trial. Criminal Court Judge James Obbish also ordered that Dai, 65, of South Holland, pay $5,229 in fines.

Edward Stringer, 47, and Corey Ankum, 34 were killed and 19 other firefighters were injured when the rotting truss roof of the former South Side laundry collapsed three days before Christmas.

Civil lawsuits brought against Dai and others by relatives of Stringer and Ankum are still pending in Cook County Circuit Court.

In a statement issued after Dai’s guilty plea, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez acknowledged that administrative sanctions would typically be sought for failing to comply with building codes but that the deaths of the two firefighters warranted criminal penalties.

In 2007 city building inspectors had issued 14 citations against the vacant building at 1738-1744 E. 75th St., pointing out that the roof leaked and its trusses were in disrepair. Over the next year Dai failed to show up for numerous court dates, racking up fines of $14,000 for not fixing the problems, prosecutors said. With city attorneys cracking down in 2009, Dai had sought to reduce his fines by signing a court order to make the required repairs by November 2010, but prosecutors said he never completed the improvements. Records show city building inspectors had not yet followed up to make sure the repairs had been made before the fatal fire.

Following the fire, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health faulted the fire department for poor communications – not all the firefighters had radios – as a contributing factor in the deaths of the two firefighters. The city’s Building Department was also cited for not flagging the building as hazardous.

As part of the changes instituted following the fire, the city began marking hazardous abandoned buildings with a red “X,” and the fire department no longer sends firefighters into abandoned buildings without evidence that someone is inside. Firefighters had entered the abandoned building in search of homeless squatters. Officials determined a trash fire was the cause of the blaze.


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New truck for Bolingbrook

This from Dieterich Herndobler:

A friend of mine spied a couple photos of Bolingbrook’s Pierce PUC aerial that is being built and now on the blue floor at Pierce…the photos were posted by a Jeffrey Matthias.

D Herndobler
fire truck

Jeffrey Matthias photo

Pierce Velocity

New fire truck for Bolingbrook. Jeffrey Matthias photo

And this from Lucas Hanson:

Just thought I’d pass along a picture of our new Truck 1 just about complete (anticipating in service in the next month or so), and also our new Engine 2 (which will be a clone of our new Engine 5) which is approximately 30 days out from completion.  These are not my pictures, but a member of ours Jeffrey Matthias.



fire truck

Jeffrey Matthias photo

fire engine being built

New engine in production for Bolingbrook. Jeffrey Matthias photo

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Fire service activities today


Lake County Fire Expo

Cary Fire District Dedication Ceremony


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