Archive for March 19th, 2018

Leyden Township Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

The Leyden Fire Protection District has a referendum on the March 20 primary ballot. The district is seeking support for a $1.5 million bond issue, which would be used to purchase a new ladder truck and ambulance, said Fire Chief Kory Ryan and board President Randy Olinski.  If it is approved, fire district residents can expect an increase on their property tax bills of nearly $2.50 more a month or $30 more a year.

The district is looking to replace a 1996 fire truck and 2013 ambulance, both of which have outlived their life expectancy, and repair and maintenance costs are more expensive. 

Officials said the bond, which would take effect in 2019 and stretch over the next 10 years, is enough to cover the expenses of the two vehicles. The estimated cost for a ladder truck is $1 million, and an ambulance could range between $200,000 to $300,000.

“We just can’t do it,” Olinski said. “With the cost of health insurance, pensions … the economy took a dive. We live on property tax money. We live on sales tax money. We’re not a municipality. There is no mayor that says, ‘I’m only going to give you $1 million to spend. Live with it.’ We are self-sufficient — by taxes only.”

“Unfortunately, with tax rate caps and property values [and] equal assessor’s rates dropping, we’ve gotten less and less money since 2006,” Ryan added.

While the district is responsible for protecting those in the unincorporated area of the township, it is also a part of MABAS Division 20, meaning it provides mutual aid to about 15 surrounding communities such as Bellwood, Melrose Park, Rosemont, Schiller Park and Westchester. 

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South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

At the age of 64, Bill Sohn wasn’t ready to retire from the South Elgin and Countryside Fire Protection District, but the 42-year department veteran said recent health problems have made it time for him to move on after four years as chief. In recognition of that service, Sohn was honored Friday with a traditional fire department walk out ceremony complete with uniform review. 

Former chiefs of police, retired firefighters, current and retired office staff, area fire chiefs and the department’s firefighters and staff turned out for the event. Sohn shook every hand and even a hugged a few people who lined up for the formal uniform review. The walk out ended with the final tones coming over dispatch radio.

Sohn started with the South Elgin department as a part-timer in 1976, and was one of the first three full-time employees in 1979.

It was important to Steve Wascher, the new fire chief, that Sohn be saluted for his years with the department with a ritual that hasn’t been done at South Elgin in several years.  Sohn officially retired March 9, and Wascher was sworn in March 10. Wascher is also a long-time South Elgin firefighter. He’s been with the department for 25 years.

While he had cousins who were firefighters, he hadn’t thought about the work as a profession until he ran into Elgin Firefighter Mike Oine, whose own father was the South Elgin chief. Oine told Wascher he should apply, and by the time he got back to his summer job at his family’s appliance store, there was a message from the chief waiting on his desk.

South Elgin is seeking voter approval to sell $10 million in bonds to allow the department to replace its aging fire house at 150 State St. with two new stations. If approved by voters Tuesday, one station would be built on Spring Street on the west side of the Fox River and the other on South Elgin Boulevard, east of the river.

Another ballot question voters to approve a .10-percent tax levy increase to fund operations at those two locations. If approved, taxes would increase $33 on a home valued at $100,000.

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Box Alarm fire in Maywood, 3-18-18

The Maywood Fire Department  requested a Box Alarm for a house fire at 1230 S 21st Avenue, 3/18/18.

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Robbins Fire Department history (more)

More Robbins FD history from Wayne Stuart

The Robbins Fire Department also operated this 1965 Mack, Serial #1402. It ran as Engine 2943  with a 1000 GPM pump and a 500 Gallon tank. I do not know if it had previous ownership or if it  still  exists. This photo was taken in 1986.

wayne stuart photo

1956 C-Model Mack fire engine pumper

The Robbins Fire Department operated this 1965 Mack, Serial #1402. It ran as Engine 2943  with a 1000 GPM pump and a 500 Gallon tank. This photo was taken in 1986. Wayne Stuart photo

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