Excerpts from the daily-journal.com:

With the exit of its interim fire chief, the mayor said that Bradley is planning to make changes to improve the fire department, but he did not address questions about who is in charge of the department and what its relationship will be with the neighboring Bourbonnais Fire Protection District. One idea reportedly under consideration is putting Bourbonnais Fire Protection District Chief Ed St. Louis in charge of the Bradley department for the time being.

Six months ago, the village hired Jim Eggert as interim fire chief for six months, telling him he could stay another six months if the village was still searching for a permanent chief. The cost over the six months was $66,000. Eggert’s last day was Friday, yet no new chief has been named. The mayor said the village decided against renewing Eggert’s contract because of its cost.

Throughout the day Tuesday, it was unclear who was in charge of the Bradley Fire Department. At least one member of the department was under the impression that St. Louis had already taken the helm.  Bradley Fire Department Capt. Kevin Goudreau, the union’s president, said he and Capt. Greg Glidewell were in charge until they were told differently. They are the department’s highest-ranking members. On Tuesday night, department employees were scheduled to meet with St. Louis and village officials. Goudreau said St. Louis may well be named the Bradley department’s chief for the time being. He said this may be part of a larger consolidation between the two departments. 

Union members are not opposed to consolidation, but they feel blindsided about the village’s latest actions. If the fire department consolidates with Bourbonnais, it would require a village board vote. With six full-time employees, the department handles 3,000 calls a year, nearly doubling its workload since it became a full-time department 15 years ago. For months, the union has been negotiating with the village for a contract to replace the one that expired April 30.

Recommendations by the Illinois Firefighters Association, which assessed the department in 2005, included a significant increase in staffing, an addition of a second fire station, close cooperation with other fire departments, and improvement of software to measure performance.

Area fire departments help each other with calls. Bradley needs a lot of assistance because of its small staff, so the village appreciates Bourbonnais as a partner. But Bourbonnais wants an agreement where it would handle all calls north of Armour Road which  include a higher percentage of privately insured customers, which mean higher reimbursements.

“We don’t want to turn those calls over because we would be losing revenue,” Goudreau said, and that it would be better if Bourbonnais backed up on calls regardless of the neighborhood.

thanks Dennis