Archive for September 20th, 2018

Waukegan Fire Department news

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A Waukegan family who lost their home in a fire last week received a special gift from firefighters. While family heirlooms are irreplaceable, Waukegan firefighters tried to lend the family some comfort by putting together care packages they tucked into backpacks. 

Sylvia Pilar Bout shared a video on Facebook Sunday of Waukegan FD Captain Matt Burleson and Firefighter/Paramedic Beth Moss surprising her 12-year-old niece Neveah Escobedo with a replica of a stuffed toy she lost in the fire on September 11. The video has been viewed 58,000 times on Facebook.

“If that doesn’t show you how amazing these people truly are than I dont know what will,” Bout wrote on Facebook. “Thank you Waukegan Fire Department for everything you have done for my family, we will never forget the compassion you have shown to us.”

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New Lenox Fire Protection District news

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On September 17th, the New Lenox Fire Protection District (NLFPD) held a swearing in ceremony during their Board of Trustees meeting to promote a lieutenant and a battalion chief. The new battalion chief is Michael Parkhurst; he has been in the fire service for 17 years, eight of those with the NLFPD. Currently, he also serves the district as the training officer, pre-plans coordinator, equipment testing coordinator, fire/arson investigator, Black CART Team member, and Southwest Hazardous Materials Response Team Technician. Battalion Chief Parkhurst will oversee all day-to-day operations for the district’s four fire stations on gold shift.

The new lieutenant is Zach Cook. He has been in the fire service for 8 years, over half of those with the New Lenox Fire Protection District. He has been an active member with the district and served as co-chair for the MDA Fill the Boot Drive. He most recently was the engineer for Truck 61 on red shift. Lieutenant Cook will remain on red shift and be in charge of the firefighter/paramedics at Station 3. 

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Calumet Park Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Calumet Park’a mayor told residents Saturday that he was considering outsourcing the village’s fire department. Speaking before a crowd of about 50 people during a citizens’ forum at the Calumet Park Recreation Center, he said the village was looking to cut costs in the wake of shrinking revenues.

“If the revenue is not there, where are we going to get it? Where are we going to get the salaries that they require?” he continued, adding that he also had examined outsourcing the Public Works Department, but ultimately decided against it.

The fire department’s tenuous status was revealed during the forum’s question-and-answer portion, which followed a series of presentations by village department heads who spoke about the work they do in the community and encouraged residents to contact them with questions and concerns.

Fire Chief Howard Fisher did not mention the department’s plight during his presentation, but confirmed afterward that outsourcing operations had been discussed as part of ongoing contract negotiations with the village.

Neither he nor Denson would discuss the content of the ongoing negotiations or what outsourcing the department might look like.

The mayor said that he had no intention of transitioning to an all-volunteer department, as had been suggested by one resident at the forum, because he did not believe it was feasible and that he wasn’t aware of any south suburban communities that had outsourced fire operations, but knew that others were also considering it in an effort to cut costs.

Money has been especially tight for Calumet Park since the closure of Ultra Foods, the community’s only traditional grocery store, last year. In addition to reducing the village’s fresh food options, the grocer’s demise wiped out one of the village’s major revenue streams.

Because the department of approximately 30 firefighters is unionized — a rarity for a part-time department — its workers receive benefits and good salaries, which the mayor said has made sustaining it difficult. Village firefighters are compensated at a great rate, guaranteed a minimum number of hours, and have negotiated minimum manning requirements.

The mayor did not offer a timeline for when a decision on the ultimate fate of the department might be forthcoming. He said he was still waiting on estimates of how much outsourcing fire protection services might cost.

thanks Scott and Mike

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East Joliet FPD Open House

East Joliet FPD open house

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