Archive for August 25th, 2014

Chicago hiring policy creates controversy (more)

The Chicago Sun-Times has an article about hiring rules in place for the hiring of new firefighter candidates:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is standing behind a hiring preference for Chicago Public School graduates that has infuriated firefighters, despite surprise opposition from Chicago Teachers Union president and possible mayoral challenger Karen Lewis. But that didn’t stop the mayor from taking a smaller step Thursday to appease the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2.

At the request of firefighters union president Tom Ryan, the city has altered eligibility rules for the Dec. 13-14 firefighters entrance exam that will be Chicago’s first in nearly a decade.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that Ryan was upset about a requirement that 18-year-olds who will be eligible to take the exam for the first time must produce a high school diploma or GED. That would have forced “hundreds, if not thousands” of 18-year-olds born after Sept. 1 to choose between dropping out of high school to get their GED or skipping the exam altogether and waiting years for the next one, Ryan said.

The dilemma was created by the city’s decision to lower the eligibility age to attract a broader pool of candidates. In the past, you had to be 19 to sit for the exam. The new test will be open to anyone who turns 18 before Dec. 31, 2014. On Thursday, Ryan said the Emanuel administration has agreed to remedy the problem by allowing 18-year-old high school seniors to take the exam, so long as they agree to stay in school and get their high school diploma by June, 2015.

Ryan said he’s still trying to convince the mayor to back off from the CPS hiring preference under threat of a union-funded court challenge. “Make it fair for all Chicago taxpayers. It should not matter if you attended a public or private school or if you were home-schooled. If a preference is given, it should be given to all Chicagoans,” he said.

The Dec. 13-14 firefighters entrance exam will be Chicago’s first since 2006. If the test was administered more regularly, the 18-year-old quandary would not have mattered so much.

But Ryan has said, “For 30 years, I’ve been told they’re going to hold the exam more often. It hasn’t happened. There have been three exams in my 30 years on the job. We understand the exam is expensive.”

thanks Dan

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Mokena Garage fire (8/24/14)

Here are some photos of the garage fire in Mokena on 8/24/14. Companies arrived to a fully-involved garage fire with some minor extension to a neighboring house. Here’s the link to more photo’s:

-Code Photography

fireman with big flames behind him

Code Photography

heavy fire from residential garage

Code Photography

fireman with hose line at big garage fire

Code Photography

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Villa Park to buy new engine

This from Tim Right:

There is an article that Villa Park was approved for a federal grant to help pay for a new engine that they ordered.  This was the meeting item and it was passed.  

7. Consider a Resolution Approving the Purchase of a Pierce Impel Engine for the Fire Department through the Houston-Galveston Area Council Cooperative Purchasing Program

The fire department has three fire engines (pumpers) in its fleet. Two of the three are frontline and third is the reserve. Fire engines are replaced based on mileage, hours and general maintenance. It is the fire department’s recommendation to replace fire engines every 21 years, staggered, so every 7 years a new engine is purchased. Currently, Engine 961 is 25 years old, it is a Pierce Arrow with 53,000 miles and just over 6,000 hours of engine time. Engine 961 has had numerous mechanical problems, including last year on route to an emergency when the forty gallon fuel tank fell off.

If the purchase is approved, the engine will take approximately 8 to 9 months to construct. Funds in the amount of $220,000 are available in the Equipment Replacement Fund #65.502.02.401 for this purchase. An additional $100,000 will be budgeted in the FY15-16. If the Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant is not awarded, and the Illinois State Fire Marshal does not approve an interest free loan, staff is recommending a loan from Oshkosh Capital for additional funds needed for this purchase. Staff is respectively requesting authorization to purchase a 2015 Pierce Impel fire engine from Pierce Manufacturing through Global Emergency Products in Aurora Illinois via the H-GAC Cooperative Purchasing Program at a cost not to exceed $510,000.
 From NorthernStarinfo

Villa Park in suburban Chicago has been awarded a $432,000 federal grant to purchase vehicles for its fire department. The grant is coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The funding is provided through Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. Its aim is to improve the nation’s preparedness and ability to respond to fire emergencies. The program has awarded $321 million directly to fire departments and other emergency-responder agencies.

thanks Dan

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