Archive for July 18th, 2022

Clarendon Hills Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Scott Pilafas, who worked as a Clarendon Hills paramedic for 19 years, submitted his resignation April 10. He singled out Fire Chief Brian Leahy for criticism.

“The current leadership in the department has made it unbearable to work,” Pilafas said. “The Chief places value on local department members with minimal experience while undervaluing Firefighter/Paramedics who are needed for the majority of calls… This continues to create a toxic divide in the department.”

In his resignation letter, Pilafas said he was vocal about the fire department not replacing the ladder truck. Leahy and other department leaders strongly favored buying a truck, despite the village manager’s reservations.

“It’s hard to work for leadership that doesn’t respect paramedics and has never had to be a paramedic or walk in our shoes,” Pilafas said in the letter. “You can add me to the list of the over 70 Paramedics that have come through the door in the past 19 years.”

As with all paramedics and firefighters in Clarendon Hills, Pilafas was part time. He is a full-time Chicago firefighter.

Pilafas said the fire department is buying a new ambulance, but may have no one to staff it. He said these staffing problems have occurred while the fire department put its emphasis on a new ladder truck.

In March, Chief Leahy said the village needed paramedics, but said the fire department could cover its ambulance shifts.

Leahy did not return messages for comment left on Monday and Thursday.

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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Peoria City Council approved $3.2 million for new apparatus, expecting to get the new rigs in 2024.

Interim Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger said the wait times for apparatus can be up to 27 months because of supply chain issues. He told the council that by making a decision and commitment to buy the apparatus now, they will have time to raise and appropriate the funds by the time the apparatus is delivered.

The apparatus that might be replaced include two aerials from 2001 and one from 1994.

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Orland Fire District news

Excerpts from

The Orland Fire Protection District dedicated the “Robert M. Buhs Education & Leadership Development Center” on July 15, 2022 in honor of a former fire chief who officials said was the district’s chief architect.

The Orland Fire Protection District (OFPD) Board of Trustees created the rank of “Fire Chief Emeritus” in recognition of the contributions Buhs made during his 27 years of service.

In ceremony filled with emotion, Buhs was presented with the newly created rank to reflect his role in building the Orland Fire Protection District. A naming plaque was unveiled at the “Buhs Education & Leadership Development Center” located at 10728 W. 163rd Place.

Buhs started his full time career in Orland in 1977. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1981, to deputy chief in 1986, and was first appointed Chief/Administrator in 1988. One of Buhs’ earliest visions was to build a regional training facility. He was one of the first to start training officers and command functions knowing the importance of the unified command. He retired in 2003.

Chief Buhs also served as Executive Director of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association from 1988 until 1999 but continued as a consultant and mentor to many chiefs that have served since that time.

Today, the Orland Fire Protection District is recognized as having a 65 percent save rate for individuals who suffer heart attacks. The national save rate is only 10 to 15 percent. The OFPD is Certified with ISO-1 rating and as an Internationally Accredited Fire Department, one of only 100 in the United States and Canada.

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