Archive for February 15th, 2022

Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

A new consultants report is asking the City of Springfield to consider replacing fire safety officers with civilian personnel in an effort to cut costs.

Instead of six fire department captains working in the fire safety division, some could be replaced with trained civilians, but not everyone is convinced this is the way to go.

“Even though we’re not putting out the fires, we’re preventing fires before they start,” said Division Chief Ed Canny, who oversees the Fire Safety Division for the Springfield fire Department.

Canny and his team plan fire protocols in new buildings, inspect Springfield structures, and investigate fires after they happen. They also create educational programs for schools, nursing homes, and more to prevent fires

The new fire consultants report is recommending some changes to the division’s staffing, saying “CPSM recommends that the SFD should evaluate the feasibility and give serious consideration to replacing uniformed personnel in the Fire Safety Division with certified civilian staff members.”

The report says the civilian jobs may be a good fit for retired firefighters, and Canny says that experience is key.

Local 37 Union president Vince Zummo agrees that experience matters here, but as for getting retired firefighters to fulfill the duties … “I find it very difficult to believe that you’re gonna find retired firefighters who, number one, would want to do it and number two, would have the educational requirements to do this,” Zummo said.

Zummo says the change wouldn’t come easily because of that, and because of the union contract. The parties cut a deal where the fire safety division gets to remains intact as long as the department maintains a residency requirement, meaning firefighters have to live in Springfield.

The mayor says he’s created a working group of city and fire professionals to go through the report and determine what changes the city can make from it.

The fire safety division investigated more than a hundred fires last year, identifying multiple serial arsonists in the process.

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Fire Service news

Excerpts from the

Safety is the number one value at Nicor Gas and the company works closely with fire departments across the company’s service territory in northern Illinois to ensure that firefighters are ready to respond to emergencies in the field.

To support this partnership and provide continued support that enables training and development of firefighters across the state, Nicor Gas recently provided $20,000 to the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) for their programs, and a $10,000 grant to Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) Foundation to fund development opportunities and training programs for firefighters. 

Nicor Gas focuses on building and maintaining relationships with the Illinois fire service in several ways:

• Each year, community affairs representatives go to dozens of fire departments to talk about how Nicor Gas maintains a safe system and how we can best coordinate our response to natural gas emergencies.

• Nicor Gas’ Technical Training and Community Affairs departments host an annual hands-on training at the company’s Troy Grove Storage Field where 100 firefighters practice how to properly extinguish natural gas fires.

• This year, after a year working with the IFSI, Nicor Gas launched a new online Natural Gas Safety training module housed on the IFSI training platform. Firefighters from across the state have access to this 45-minute online, self-paced training module.

• Nicor Gas engages with fire departments each year to conduct mock exercises where both Nicor Gas and fire departments test their emergency response processes and protocols.

• Each year in the fall, Nicor Gas employees attend about 50 fire department open houses across northern Illinois reaching an estimated 35,000 residents to educate them about natural gas safety.

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