Archive for October 25th, 2023

Bloomington Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Bloomington City Council on Monday OK’d the fire department’s plan to ease hiring rules tied to paramedic licensing.

Previously, the city mandated only licensed paramedics be considered for open firefighter positions. But that no longer is the case with Monday’s vote.

The Bloomington Fire Department still expects its firefighters to be paramedics. But under the new policy, if a new firefighter doesn’t have the paramedic certification, BFD staff will train them.

The change builds a broader candidate pool in a climate where BFD, like many other U.S. fire departments, struggle to fill ranks. 

Monday’s vote was 8-0. Ward 5’s Nick Becker was absent.


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Dixon City Fire Department news

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The Dixon City Fire Department is celebrating 125 years of service to the community throughout October. The department was established as a paid department in 1898. It is the 3rd oldest in the state of Illinois, and they transitioned to their current building in 2006, leaving behind the original, which had been in operation for 100 years.

Although the department has grown greatly since its establishment and original three staff members, they still face challenges experienced by others as well, saying that staffing concerns remain ongoing.

“Recruitment and retention, that’s not just an issue in the public sector, it’s an issue in the private sector. It seems here in Dixon that it’s kind of a rollercoaster, good years, bad years. Right now, we’ve already exhausted our list,” Deputy Fire Chief, Dave Lohse said. He has celebrated both the 100th and now 125th anniversaries with the department. 

Ryan Buskohl is the Fire Chief for the Dixon City Fire Department. After spending 18 years on the job, he shares how one of the big changes in the department’s history influences how their job has come to be done daily.

“Going from the firefighters actually pulling carts themselves to transitioning to horses pulling steam engines and then now, you obviously look at what modern apparatuses looks like. Just huge changes,” Buskohl said.

To commemorate the anniversary, Dixon CityfFirefighters will be wearing special shirts throughout the month. 

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