Archive for June 9th, 2018

North Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

North Chicago’s police and fire department employees can breathe easy, for now, as a looming threat to cut their staff has officially been taken off the table when the City Council voted this week to pass the 2018-19 budget without any layoffs.

Council members had been stalling approval of the new fiscal year’s budget, which began on May 1, unsure of which recommendations presented would trim a $1 million deficit without eliminating emergency services and cutting wages to its non-union employees.

Prior to the 5-2 vote Monday to approve a budget that includes no cuts to wages, Ald. Carl Evans said, “I refuse to cut anybody’s salary.” However, the package does add a salary freeze to personnel who fall under the city’s salary ordinance.

Those affected by the freeze include roughly 32 employees in managerial positions in the fire and police departments, as well as non-union comptroller department personnel and the deputy city clerk.

An earlier version of the budget initially included laying off three firefighters and the sale of a ladder truck, along with wage reductions and furlough days for 17 non-union employees, among other cuts.

At the time, the mayor said everything was on the table and all departments would have to look at what could be reduced to get the budget down to $23.9 million.

Going after businesses and residents who are behind on paying water bills is one option the city could take toward generating those future funds.

Once the salary freezes are factored into the approved budget, the city’s $1.31 million deficit will be reduced to an estimated $1.25 million

The impetus for the aggressive look at reducing the budget was a pension fund dispute between the city and its Firefighters Pension Board. In early April, the board appealed to the Illinois comptroller to divert a delinquent $863,677 the city owed for fiscal years 2016-17. The city and the board then settled on $150,000.

A researcher at the University of Chicago who has studied the Illinois pension funds crisis, said a law was passed in 2011 impacting pension systems throughout Illinois. Under the new funding plan starting this year, fund managers can report their municipalities to the state Comptroller’s Office. The state comptroller has to then divert tax funds the municipality is slated to receive to the pension fund that appealed.

“This new funding enforcement mechanism states that pensions be 90 percent funded by 2040, and so North Chicago can end up in this exact scenario again and again if they don’t continue to pay into their pension funds,” Kass said.

According to data from from the Illinois Department of Insurance, in 2016, the city’s Firefighters Pension Board was funded at 35.3 percent, while the Police Pension Fund was funded at 33.8 percent. Both pension funds were down from previous years.

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Annual Chicago Fire Engine Rally & Swap Meet

Annual Chicago Fire Engine Rally & Swap Meet

click on the flyer for a larger, downloadable file

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New Chicago Fire Department replica models

The next series of exquisite Chicago Fire Department models from Fire Replicas, will be on display at the Annual Chicago Fire Engine Rally & Swap Meet at the Quinn Fire Academy next Saturday, June 16th. CFD Engines 28, 50, and 71 are represented.

This from Fire Replicas:

… we’ll be at the Muster to show the pre-production prototypes and take orders.  Models will arrive in late July for shipment in early August. Only 100 of each produced!

Fire Replicas Chicago FD E-ONE fire engines  

click on the flyer for a larger, downloadable file

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

A Chicago firefighter under investigation for his role in a racially charged melee that led to the fatal shooting of an African-American man by police in 2016 has taken his own life.

Ryne Kinsella, 28, shot himself in the head Wednesday at his home in the 11100 block of South Christiana in Mount Greenwood, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, which ruled his death a suicide. Kinsella, who reportedly left a note, who was a Chicago police officer before joining the Chicago Fire Department. He was pronounced dead at the home at 10:16 p.m.

He had been a subject of investigations by the fire department’s Internal Affairs Division and the city’s Office of Inspector General. The internal fire department investigation was dropped when the inspector general stepped in, and that agency’s investigation continues.

Kinsella — who was assigned to a firehouse near Irving Park and Harlem on the Northwest Side — was involved in the incident that led to the fatal shooting by police of Joshua Beal in Mount Greenwood in November 2016.

Beal, 25, of Indianapolis, had been in a funeral procession in the predominantly white neighborhood on the Far Southwest Side. He was shot by Officer Joseph Treacy and Sgt. Thomas Derouin — both off-duty — after pointing a 9mm gun at them during the melee on 111th Street, the police department has said.

Kinsella told detectives he was attacked by African-Americans in the funeral procession after he ordered them to get back inside their vehicles and to stop blocking access to a nearby fire station. Kinsella suffered bruises and scratches to his face and a swollen nose, according to police records.

After the gunfire, Kinsella could be seen on video giving Beal chest compressions.

The death of Beal, who was a pallbearer for his cousin, touched off days of racial animosity in Mount Greenwood, which is home to many police officers, firefighters and other city workers.

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