Archive for March 26th, 2021

Mattoon Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Some of the 12 candidates for Mattoon City Council in the April 6 election differ sharply on whether the city should revive the Mattoon Fire Department’s ambulance service or leave it inactive.

In between those two opposing points, candidates suggested having a third party analyze ambulance service date and have the department’s trained paramedics respond to more emergency medical calls with Mitchell-Jerdan Ambulance Service. The candidates said the city should place a priority on meeting its fire, police, and other public safety responsibilities.

Candidate viewpoints:

the city needs maximum police staffing for public and officer safety. On firefighter staffing, the city is at an impasse in negotiating a new contract with their union and is in related appellate litigation.  The city is not in a position to bring back the ambulance service due to budget constraints and to parameters for private ambulance coverage.

the city has been trying to get staffing equitability across the fire, police, and public works departments, which all play public safety roles. If firefighter staffing stays too large for a town of 18,000, the other departments will get less resources and negotiations with the union have been unsuccessful, so the city is pursuing arbitration and litigation on behalf of all residents.

the city has gone three years now without its ambulance service and probably will not reinstate it and that a reinstated ambulance service would not cover its operating expenses. Without an ambulance service, the city needs to reduce firefighter staffing as part of efforts to curb rising personnel costs and that the city, has a monster pension problem.

as society has changed, crime and demand for police protection has grown. The city needs to maintain the proper number of officers to protect citizens. Public safety also includes fire and public works, so the city must seek staffing balance. The city cannot afford to be in the ambulance business when there are private companies providing this service.

the city should not reinstate the Mattoon Fire Department’s ambulance service at this time but should instead continue to encourage the development of the ambulance services in the private sector.

the city should hire more patrol officers and detectives, plus drug task force personnel to respond to the substance abuse increase. The city also should finalize a firefighter contract to provide stability and a more accurate look at public safety levels. The new council and the union may find common ground on staffing between the current 22 and the contract required 30.

the city will have to wait until related litigation concludes before it addresses any future for a city ambulance service. If that service is reinstated, the city should utilize federal funds that provide reimbursement for caring for patients who receive financial aid. In the meantime, the city should still utilize firefighters’ paramedic training.

the city needs a public safety strategic plan to prepare for annexations, economic development and more and could build a grant funded, energy efficient fire station east of downtown to replace the dilapidated city hall station and serve Mattoon’s eastward spread. The city also should use street corner cameras to deter crime and provide evidence when needed.

the city can not further cut fire, police, and public works staffing while also maintaining the current public safety level. To achieve a balanced budget, the city needs to drive economic growth and cut wasteful spending from the top down. The city is overlooking the ambulance service’s potential financial benefits.

the city needs to work with both the fire and police departments to dissolve the friction between those two organizations.  “We are one city, one government, we need to work together.” That would help enhance public safety.

the city should ensure all its public safety departments are adequately staffed and have what they need to do their jobs. The current council did not fulfill its duty to provide for public safety when it eliminated the ambulance service, and that choice has cost the city a lot of money.

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New engine for Northbrook

From Randy Buttliere:

Pierce 2021 Impel eye candy – This just showed up at MacQueen
2021 Pierce Impel fire engine

Randy Buttliere photo


2021 Pierce Impel fire engine

Randy Buttliere photo

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New mini-pumper for the Fox River and Countryside Fire Rescue District (more)

Updated photos of the new mini-pumper for the Fox River and Countryside Fire Rescue District

Alexis fire truck being built

Alexis Fire Equipment photo

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Of interest … Chicago Blackhawks and Firefighters

From Chicago Blackhawks @nhlblackhawks

Tonight’s edition of the anthem recognizes our local first responder and emergency response community – featuring firefighters, law enforcement and emergency medical services from stations across Chicagoland.

click the link above to view the video


New engine for Matteson (more)

From Bill Schreiber:

Mid point inspection for the Matteson FD Rosenbauer pumper
Rosenbauer Commander fire engine being built for the Matteson FD

Rosenbauer photo

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