Posts Tagged Bartlett Fire Protection District

Bartlett Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Bartlett Fire Protection District trustees Wednesday approved a March 20 referendum asking voters for a 21 percent increase to the district’s own property tax levy — expected to raise the average homeowner’s annual payment to the district from $469 to $569.

Officials expressed concern that voters would be confused by the 21 percent stated in the question, and not recognize it in the context of their overall tax bill. In fact, less than 6 cents of property owners’ tax bills go to the fire protection district and voter approval of the levy increase would increase that only to 7 cents.

The increase is aimed at keeping services at their current level and avoid specific staffing cuts Fire Chief Michael Falese recommended after voters rejected a similar request last April.

Falese said the district’s calls are increasing annually — up to about 4,000 per year — but its tax revenue has increased only 3 percent over the past eight years.

The requested tax increase was calculated to cost the average homeowner of the district less than $8.30 per month. Though Cook and DuPage counties calculate property taxes slightly differently, the impact estimate was based on the home values in the fire district as a whole, Falese said.

Last summer, the chief shared his recommendations with the trustees on how to keep services affordable if voters don’t allow the levy to be increased beyond the restrictions of the tax cap. They include reducing the number of firefighters per shift from 14 to 11 and closing one of the district’s three stations on a rotating basis throughout the year.

The three staff members per shift who would be cut are the one paid-on-premises firefighter and two private contractors who provide a lower-cost supplement to the 10 union employees and the battalion chief.

Because the district’s three engines and two ambulances require a specific number of people, the only way to reduce staff effectively is to take a whole vehicle out of operation — in this case, an engine.

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Working fire in the Bartlett FPD, 12/11/17

From the Bartlett FPD Facebook page:

12/11/17 Bartlett Box Alarm at 1760 Hilltop in unincorporated Elgin

Last night, Bartlett firefighters responded to Hilltop Road in unincorporated Elgin for a reported garage fire. Upon arrival, crews were met with a well-involved attached garage fire extending into the home. Due to the amount of fire, wind conditions, and lack of fire hydrants, a MABAS Box was activated to bring in additional manpower and equipment necessary to extinguish the fire

Facebook video

firefighters silhouetted buy fire

John Tulipano photo

garage destroyed by fire

John Tulipano photo

firefighters with hose line at night fire scene

John Tulipano photo

firefighters with hose line at night fire scene

John Tulipano photo

firefighters with hose line at night fire scene

John Tulipano photo

firefighters with hose line at night fire scene

John Tulipano photo

firefighters with hose line at night fire scene

John Tulipano photo

Bartlett FPD fire engine drafting

John Tulipano photo

Bartlett FPD fire engine drafting

John Tulipano photo

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Bartlett Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Though Bartlett Fire Protection District trustees have already discussed the service cuts they’d make if voters reject a tax-hike proposal via a March 20 referendum, they have yet to decide the exact percentage of the requested increase. That decision is scheduled for their next meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, at the district’s headquarters, 234 N. Oak Ave. in Bartlett. They believe that’s when they’ll have the most up-to-date financial information ahead of the referendum filing deadline on Jan. 2.

Last April, 59.5 percent of voters rejected a requested 19.5 percent tax-levy increase.

While discussing the financial consequences of that vote during the summer, trustees said that not having detailed information on service cuts may have been a weakness of the information campaign for the referendum. And because the service cuts they said are necessary without a tax hike are so significant, the trustees opted to try one more time at the polls before implementing them.

Fire Chief Michael Falese told trustees the district’s core financial issue is its increasing volume of calls combined with its extremely low tax rate in comparison to other fire districts. Without a sufficient tax increase to maintain today’s level of service, Falese recommended reducing the number of responders firefighters per shift from 14 to 11.

The three per shift who would be cut are the one paid-on-premises firefighter and two private contractors who provide a lower-cost supplement to the 10 more experienced union employees and their battalion chief.

Because the district’s three engines and two ambulances require a specific number of people, the only way to reduce staffing effectively is to take a whole vehicle out of operation — in this case, an engine, Falese said.

As a result, the recommended cuts also would entail closing one of the district’s three stations on a rotating basis throughout the year.

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Bartlett Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the Dailyherald.com:

A house fire early Saturday morning in Bartlett did an estimated $150,000 in damage, but no one was injured.

Fire and smoke were visible from the attic and second floor of a single-family home in the 200 block of Hill Avenue when firefighters arrived at about 3:30 a.m. Firefighters searched the smoke-charged building for trapped occupants, but no one was inside.

Firefighters had to open numerous walls and ceilings to ensure the fire was extinguished. The fire was declared under control at 4:15 a.m.

The building is uninhabitable. The cause remains under investigation by Bartlett Fire Protection District investigators, but the fire appears to have begun near a lower-level fireplace.

The fire was fought by 19 firefighters, staffing three engines, two ladder trucks, and two ambulances. Units from the Hanover Park and Bloomingdale Fire Departments assisted at the scene.

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Box Alarm in Streamwood, 6-27-27

Photos from John Tulipano of the Box Alarm fire in a townhouse at 3084 Lynwood Court in Streamwood (6/27/27)

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Picture 1 of 17

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Bartlett Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the Dailyherald.com:

While the village of Bartlett has approved a larger station for its police department, the separate Bartlett Fire Protection District will soon formulate a response to voters’ rejection of a tax hike intended to maintain services at their current level.

Fire district trustees have scheduled a workshop to discuss the financial and operational outlook for the agency at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, at Fire Station 1, 234 N. Oak Ave. in Bartlett. Fire Chief Michael Falese is expected to present the board with options intended to reduce costs.

The district’s entire financial picture will be considered as various options — and their potential impacts on the public — are discussed.

Last month, 3,699 voters cast ballots against the proposed tax increase — 59.5 percent of the total. The district had asked for a 19.5 percent increase in its property tax levy at the end of 2017. Without voter approval, taxing bodies can increase their levies by 5 percent or the rate of inflation — whichever is less.

The proposed tax hike would have added $600,000 per year to the district’s reserves for unexpected contingencies, fill some vacant jobs to avoid current overtime issues, and allow for a third medical unit when the population warrants it.

The district’s revenue has increased only 1 percent from 2009 to 2017, while the number of calls has risen 16 percent, Falese said.

thanks Dan

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Bartlett Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the ChciagoTribune.com:

Bartlett Fire Protection District officials are hoping voters approve a referendum question for a tax increase April 4.

“We’re not asking to build another fire station or to hire more people,” Fire Chief Michael Falese said. “It’s to maintain our three fire stations and the current service level with run volume we have right now.”

Falese spoke to about 25 residents at a public meeting Monday night at Fire Station 1.

The fire district has been cutting corners for the past five years to the point that it can no longer sustain its service level without more revenue.

The proposed referendum will add $33 per $100,000 of assessed valuation to a home in the Cook County portion of Bartlett and $42 for those in the DuPage County part of the village. Officials confirmed Tuesday that the median home value in Bartlett is roughly $262,000, so the proposed annual tax increases for the average household would be $86 in Cook and $110 in DuPage.

The last time the fire district asked for a tax increase was more than a decade ago. Since then, overhead costs for supplies, equipment and fire apparatus have gone up, the population has increased by more than 25 percent and fire alarm costs have risen by at least 16 percent.

The fire district shared a document that enumerated 117 line items of financial efficiencies it has implemented, including searching for better prices, changing types of products and their methods of use, eliminating certain items, extending life spans of equipment, using resources from neighboring agencies, and numerous other cost-cutting measures concerning vehicles, facilities, and ambulance services.

“We’ve explored all our options,” Falese said. “Our water tanker truck has a rusted frame rail structure, but it’s still certified for use. We’re facing a $50,000 repair for a vehicle that’s worth about $27,000, and a replacement could cost $400,000.”

The Bartlett Fire Protection District serves about 52,000 residents and businesses, and 20 percent of its coverage territory lies outside village borders.

The district’s three fire stations are staffed by 45 full-time firefighter-paramedics, 15 part-time firefighter emergency medical technicians and six contract firefighter-paramedics.

Due to budgetary concerns, the assistant fire chief and one firefighter position are vacant. The fire district funding stands at $6.6 million from property taxes and $1.3 million from ambulance service reimbursement.

Fire district board president Jim McCarthy assured residents that the department was being a responsible steward of taxpayer money.

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Bartlett Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Bartlett Fire Protection District Fire Chief Mike Falese says that a property tax increase on the April 4 ballot would add about $33.49 a year to a home in Cook County valued at $100,000 and about $42.84 for a similarly-valued DuPage County and would prevent cuts to services and allow performance at a higher standard. He will address a community meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 20, at Fire Station #1, 234 N. Oak Ave.

While he said the board and fire district staff are not trying to scare voters, the reality now is that cuts have been made and maintenance has been deferred to the point that the situation is much more dire.

“We can perform well and have a good outcome, or we can perform in a way that isn’t as efficient and have a good outcome sometimes,” Falese said.

The questions asks voters to increase the property tax limitation from the state-mandated lesser of 5 percent or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index 19.5 percent for levy year 2017.

Since 2014, the district has used reserve funds for operational expenses and the reserves will be depleted in the 2018 fiscal year. This year, the district already had to spend $50,000 of its reserves just to balance the budget.

To cut expenses, the district has eliminated an assistant fire chief, one full-time firefighter/paramedic position, and reduced the number of paid on-call personnel. Apparatus replacement has been deferred, but can no longer be put off without jeopardizing firefighters and residents.

“We have sold apparatus and reduced equipment to cut expenses. We have modified our health care plan four times to reduce premiums,” Falese said.

Turnout gear, fire hose, and breathing apparatus hasn’t been replaced, and the heat and air conditioning system at Station 1 has not been repaired since one of the three units broke down last summer.

The district covers about 40 square miles, and responds to 4,000 emergency alarms each year from three stations. It’s annual budget is $7.9 million with $6.6 million coming from property taxes and the remainder from ambulance billing. Of that, about $1.1 million is health care costs even though firefighters are picking up a larger portion of the medical insurance cost.

The Medicaid portion of ambulance billing has been dropping and will not increase, Falese said. “We have increased the ambulance fees, but are receiving less,” because of lower Medicaid reimbursements.

Emergency calls are quickly outpacing revenue and expenditure. A new industrial park and senior living residences have increased the call volume.

“If doesn’t pass — we don’t want to it sound like a threat,” Falese said, “we would have to start considering options for 2018 and this year. We will start to look at personnel and facilities to adjust and where we respond from, including the possibility of closing one of the fire stations and rotating crews through the remaining buildings.

“That would be a lesser level of service,” Falese said.

thanks Dan

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As seen around … Bartlett

This from Steve Redick:

Bartlett & Countryside FPD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

Bartlett & Countryside FPD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

Bartlett & Countryside FPD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

Bartlett & Countryside FPD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

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Bloomingdale and Bartlett FPD open houses

This from Tyler Tobolt:

I went to the Bloomingdale and Bartlett open houses today and here are some photos.Bloomingdale rigs changed numbers so here is Engine 21, Engine 23, Tower 23, Medic 21, Medic 23 and also Bartlett changed numbers for the battalion chief and its now Battalion 3 also they have 2 new medics. Medic 2 and Medic 1.
Thanks Tyler Tobolt
fire department battalion chief

Tyler Tobolt photo

ambulance photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

ambulance photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

Pierce fire truck photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

Pierce fire truck photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

ambulance photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

ambulance photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

Pierce fire truck photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

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