Archive for September 21st, 2022

Evanston Fire Department news

Excerpts from

In September 2020, in the face of COVID-19 and the city’s budget, members of the Evanston Firefighters Association Local 742 union agreed to amend their collective bargaining agreement, foregoing salary increases instead of the 2.25% increases that had been negotiated for 2021 and 2022.

At the a recent council meeting, a recommendation was made that firefighters receive a one-time payment, a compensation for their sacrifice. The council approved the payment to firefighters for the income losses – using $494,059 for 105 employees from federal American Recovery Protection Act funds.

As part of the revised agreement in 2020, firefighters were able to retain their current operational deployment model, maintaining 26 firefighter per shift, “sufficient to ensure that companies responding to emergency calls had the staffing necessary to be effective and respond within the department’s average response time.”

The city saved at least $680,000 from the firefighters’ concessions in 2021 and 2022 and that the average member gave up approximately $6,500 in base pay compensation.

The city “has seen higher than expected revenue as economic activity continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. State income tax, building permits, real estate transfer tax, sales tax, and state use tax all show revenue higher than budgeted through mid-year 2021.”

In the 2020 negotiations, AFSCME Council 31, which represents employees in the public works department and the library, joined with the firefighters and agreed to forego wage increases after previously bargaining for increases.

However, the Evanston Police Department held out against agreeing to the 0% increase. The union noted that it had worked with the city in pre-COVID 2019 when officials expressed concern about future economic issues and had agreed to a 0% increase then.

Council members approved a series of other actions at the meeting, rewarding city employees and staff, drawing on reserves in the city’s General Fund. The council approved:

  • A retention “Thank You” bonus of $500 for all city employees;
  • A retention bonus of $2,500 for the non-union employees of the Evanston Police Department;
  • A 3% wage increase for all exempt employees of the city.

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Building explosion in Chicago, 9-20-22

Excerpts from

Eight people were injured in an apartment building explosion Tuesday around 9 a.m. in a four-story apartment building at 5601 W. West End Ave in the South Austin neighborhood.

Ten ambulances were sent to the scene, and at least eight people have been transported to hospitals. Two victims, a male and a female, were taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Three victims, two males and a female, were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. One female was taken to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park. Two males were taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County. One of the people who was injured was across the street at the time.

The fire department brought in crews to shore up the structure to enable a search of the building, and a final search of the building was completed indicating that everyone got out. 

A Peoples Gas spokesperson said the cause of the explosion remains unknown, and  that there was no reason at this point to believe the cause is related to gas or any of our equipment. 

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Chicago Police Department Bomb Unit were on the scene to assist with the response and investigation.  

The explosion happened on the top floor of the building on the eastern side of the structure, sending a large amount of bricks and other debris into the street, damaging at least three cars parked along the curb. The roof of at least one unit in the building collapsed as a result of the explosion, and several windows in the building also were blown out.

Building inspection records show the building has failed its last 12 inspections since 2010, including citations in January 2017 and February 2018 for “failing to repair or replace defective or out of service smoke detectors and operate continuously.” Most recently in 2020, one violation included a failure to connect a gas appliance to a flue or vent. After an administrative hearing on building code violations in February 2020, a follow-up inspection determined all of the violations had been corrected. 


thanks Martin

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CFD sells surplus engine

Found at

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Final Price $4,100.00
(Reserve has been met)

Time Left Closed
High Bidder wrsco
# of Bids 
First Offer $1,500.00
thanks Martin

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