Archive for June 19th, 2023

Fire Service news

Excerpts from

After appointees of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took over Walt Disney World’s governing district earlier this year, its firefighters were among the few employees who publicly welcomed them with open arms.

But that warm relationship is in jeopardy as a new district administrator has reopened negotiations on a contract that was approved last month by the unionized firefighters, promising pay raises and more manpower.

A vote on the contract originally was targeted for last month during a meeting of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board of supervisors but it was never brought up, and it did not appear on an agenda released ahead of the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

Under the three-year contract proposal overwhelmingly approved by 200 firefighters and paramedics, annual starting pay for firefighters would increase to $65,000, up from $55,000. It also promised hiring up to three dozen firefighters and paramedics.

At several meetings since the DeSantis-appointed supervisors took their seats this spring, Jon Shirey, who leads the firefighters’ union, praised them for visiting firefighters at their stations around the 39 square-mile Disney World property.

The firefighters looked forward to collaborating with the new supervisors and administrator after years of clashing with their Disney-supporting predecessors, and viewed the appointments as “an opportunity for a fresh start,” he said.

The feeling was mutual, with board chairman Martin Garcia saying last month that the supervisors were working with the firefighters to resolve their issues. Even so, Garcia made clear that the firefighters weren’t the only district employees the board wanted to support.

But the delay in approving the contract has alienated the firefighters’ union, which last year endorsed the gubernatorial reelection campaign of DeSantis, who recently launched a campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

The old contract expired four years ago and the firefighters declared an impasse last year when the district’s board was still controlled by Disney supporters. The Reedy Creek Professional Firefighters, Local 2117 have warned for years that they are understaffed, which poses a safety risk as the central Florida theme park resort grows bigger.

Last month, the district administrator who originally negotiated the new contract, was replaced by the board with a DeSantis ally who previously served as president and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League and will receive a $400,000 salary in his new job. The district also is paying the previous administrator to stay on as a special advisor.

A board spokesperson said negotiations with the union were continuing, without explaining why they were reopened with a contract already approved by the firefighters.

The district was created in 1967 when the governor signed legislation authorizing it to regulate land use, enforce building codes, treat wastewater, control drainage, maintain utilities and provide fire protection at Disney World.

Such private governments aren’t uncommon in fast-growing Florida, which has more than 600 community development districts that manage and pay for infrastructure in new communities.

thanks Rob

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As seen around … Thornton

This from 312FirePhotos:

Here are some updated apparatus photos from Thornton, Illinois

Squad 45 1995 Pierce Lance, 1500-500 Serial# E-8898 X-Bloomindale, IL

Truck 45 2022 Sutphen, 1500-500-75′ MM Serial# HS-7244; #firetruck; #312FirePhotos; #ThorntonFD; #Pierce;

312 Fire Photos; #firetruck; #312FirePhotos; #ThorntonFD; #Sutphen;

312 Fire Photos

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