Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

On July 21, Mundelein will conduct candidate testing for three new firefighter positions created last month as part of an ongoing series of changes in the department.

In the last few months, village trustees have approved the hiring of a deputy fire chief, the elimination of the public safety director position in favor of a dedicated fire chief, the sale of a 100-foot ladder truck, and a reduction in the number of lieutenants.

One new firefighter was approved in February as part of the decision to eliminate a lieutenant position. The previous total of 15 full-time firefighters now rises to 19 after trustees approved adding three more positions on June 25. In addition to the career firefighters, the department also uses six contract firefighters from a private firm.

Fire Chief Bill Lark made the request and gave a brief explanation during the June 25 board meeting. Lark said some employees are out of the rotation due to injuries, military deployment or paid time off.

There have been rising tensions at the fire department between the village and Mundelein Professional Fire Fighters Local 4786. A letter sent by the union to trustees referenced an internal memo that allegedly informed employees of a plan to eliminate three of the department’s six lieutenant positions through attrition. The union expressed concerns over safety and urged trustees to vote against the plan. Union leaders filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Illinois Labor Relations Board against the village of Mundelein in late January.

Following a lengthy public debate, trustees on Feb. 26 voted to eliminate one lieutenant position and transfer duties previously listed under a vacant fire prevention job into the building department, while creating one new firefighter position.

At that time, Lark said the longterm goal was to eventually have four lieutenants instead of six and to hire two new firefighters this summer. He said one lieutenant would staff each 24-hour shift — instead of one at each station — and an administrative lieutenant would then substitute when other employees are injured or on vacation.

The eliminated lieutenant and fire prevention bureau job were vacant. Mundelein officials on numerous occasions said they had no intention of laying off employees.

Overtime spending reached more than $800,000 in 2017.

Now having committed to four new firefighter positions, Mundelein has gone beyond its previously disclosed plan.

Lark said the village still has five lieutenants and the village board has not formally voted to eliminate any other positions.

thanks Dan