Posts Tagged Calumet Park Fire Department

Calumet Park Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Less than two months after outsourcing its fire department to Kurtz Paramedic Service, Calumet Park Fire Chief Howard Fisher, who had served as chief since 2014, was let go earlier this month in what the mayor said was primarily a cost-cutting move. He’s hoping to find a replacement for Fisher — who made $82,126 last year — within the next few weeks. The mayor said he doesn’t expect the transition from a full-time chief to a part-timer working about 30 hours a week will have any impact on the department’s operations.

“I wanted a part-time (chief),” he said. “Since Kurtz was going to have their own staff and everything, I didn’t see the need to be paying $80,000-$90,000 for a full-time fire chief when I was gonna also have to be paying for an administrative person that was going to be there administering all the paperwork of that.”

Nicless Malley, a former village firefighter who now works for Kurtz, will serve as Calumet Park’s acting chief until a permanent replacement is found. Once the new fire chief is appointed, he or she and an existing fire office clerk will be the department’s only public employees, at a combined cost of between $80,000 and $90,000 without benefits. Kurtz employs the department’s 12 full-time firefighters, four of whom previously worked part-time for Calumet Park.

The details of Fisher’s separation agreement are still being worked out, but the mayor said he anticipates paying the former chief until Jan. 15, and compensating him for his approximately 40 accumulated sick days and two weeks of vacation. 

Kurtz assumed control of Calumet Park’s fire department on Dec. 1, a few weeks after the village board approved a separation agreement with its firefighters union and signed a five-year contract with the private company to provide fire suppression and ambulance services.

Calumet Park will pay Kurtz a maximum of $829,380 in the first year of the contract, with progressive increases each year up to a maximum of $947,392 in the final year of the deal. The price tag does not include the salary of the fire chief and fire office clerk, and costs for building and apparatus maintenance and utilities, but is still expected to produce a significant savings for cash-strapped Calumet Park, officials have said.

The mayor said that he’d had discussions with officials from multiple south suburban towns about parlaying his deal with Kurtz into shared services agreements for fire suppression and ambulance services in their communities. He’s still evaluating whether such a shared services agreement with another municipality would make financial sense for Calumet Park, but that he expects to make a decision one way or another later this year.

“(Some towns) want me to completely take over their fire department,” he said. “If I wanted to do it today, I could sign them up today.”

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Box Alarm fire in Calumet Park, 12/22/18

This from Eric Haak:

Here are some images from a Mabas Box in Calumet Park Saturday morning (12/22) at 12320 S. Page Street. The fire came in at 0600 and the back end of the building was already fully involved when the first companies landed. The nearest hydrant was over 1,000 feet from the structure and companies had to go in line to supply water.

massive flames from warehouse fire at night

Eric Haak photo

Robbins FD fire engine at scene

Eric Haak photo

Evergreen Park FD Snorkel SS3 working at a fire scene

Eric Haak photo

Evergreen Park FD Snorkel SS3 working at a fire scene

Eric Haak photo

Calumet Park FD fire engine at scene

Eric Haak photo

Garden Homes FD fire engine at scene

Eric Haak photo

Robbins and Oak Forest FD fire engines at scene

Eric Haak photo

Phoenix FD fire engine at scene

Eric Haak photo

Merrionette Park quint at fire scene

Eric Haak photo

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Calumet Park Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

In an historic move that could trigger a transformation in how small suburban municipalities deliver emergency services, Calumet Park has outsourced its fire department to a private contractor in an effort to cut costs. The board voted unanimously Nov. 8 to approve a separation agreement with its firefighters union and to enter into a five-year contract with Kurtz Ambulance Service to provide fire suppression and ambulance services to the village.

“It’s going to cause a chain reaction in the south suburbs with the communities that just can’t afford to pay the high salaries, the overtime and the equipment,” said the village’s attorney, noting that he was in discussions with three other south suburban communities about outsourcing their fire departments.

Kurtz will assume control of Calumet Park’s fire department on Dec. 1. As part of the arrangement, the company will supply 12 full-time firefighter/paramedics to staff Calumet Park’s department in four-person shifts, replacing the village’s 30-plus part-time firefighters. Four of the 12 will be current village firefighters who have signed on to work full-time for Kurtz.

Calumet Park will pay Kurtz $825,000 in the first year of the contract, with progressive increases each year up to a maximum of $925,000 in the final year of the five-year deal. That  does not include the salary of the fire chief, who will remain a village employee or costs for building and apparatus maintenance and utilities. The village, which appropriated nearly $1.5 million for the fire department budget in fiscal year 2019, hopes to save at least a half-million dollars per year by contracting with Kurtz.

The village’s separation agreement with the unionized firefighters — which will pay them $1,000 per year for every year they’ve worked for Calumet Park — will cut into that savings in the first year of the contract. Per the separation agreement, the union members will receive half of their severance on Nov. 30 and the other half in spring 2019, with a total village outlay of around $240,000.

Martin Rita, a 12-year member of the department who serves as union president, said the union had proposed various concessions but had been unable to reach an agreement to keep services in house. He said he was glad that four current Calumet Park firefighters would be sticking around to ease the transition for Kurtz, but that he still had concerns about the quality of service a private company could provide.

The mayor praised village firefighters and said he’d never questioned the quality of service they were providing, but insisted that privatizing the department was necessary given the village’s dire financial state. One factor in his decision to privatize fire services was the recent realization that 18 part-time firefighters were pension eligible, and that the village could be on the hook for years of past pension payments. That, in addition to growing workers’ compensation and health care benefits for the department’s part-time workers, convinced village officials it was necessary to make the move.

Calumet Park officials said they eventually intend to expand their private fire and paramedic services beyond village boundaries in hopes of generating revenue for the community’s coffers. If all goes as planned, Calumet Park expects to enter intergovernmental firefighting and EMS agreements with surrounding communities, much like the ones it already has to provide 911 dispatch services for a handful of neighbors through its emergency communications center — also operated by Kurtz.

Joe Richert, the secretary-treasurer for Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represented the Calumet Park firefighters union, said this was the first time he’d seen a private firm supplant a unionized department.

Pat Devaney, president of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, which represents 224 affiliate departments and more than 15,000 professional firefighters across the state, said the threat of fire department privatization in Illinois is nothing new, but that outside of North Riverside — where privatization attempts were stymied by the courts — he was not aware of another example of a municipality making good on its threat to outsource services.

thanks Ron

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Calumet Park Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Calumet Park’a mayor told residents Saturday that he was considering outsourcing the village’s fire department. Speaking before a crowd of about 50 people during a citizens’ forum at the Calumet Park Recreation Center, he said the village was looking to cut costs in the wake of shrinking revenues.

“If the revenue is not there, where are we going to get it? Where are we going to get the salaries that they require?” he continued, adding that he also had examined outsourcing the Public Works Department, but ultimately decided against it.

The fire department’s tenuous status was revealed during the forum’s question-and-answer portion, which followed a series of presentations by village department heads who spoke about the work they do in the community and encouraged residents to contact them with questions and concerns.

Fire Chief Howard Fisher did not mention the department’s plight during his presentation, but confirmed afterward that outsourcing operations had been discussed as part of ongoing contract negotiations with the village.

Neither he nor Denson would discuss the content of the ongoing negotiations or what outsourcing the department might look like.

The mayor said that he had no intention of transitioning to an all-volunteer department, as had been suggested by one resident at the forum, because he did not believe it was feasible and that he wasn’t aware of any south suburban communities that had outsourced fire operations, but knew that others were also considering it in an effort to cut costs.

Money has been especially tight for Calumet Park since the closure of Ultra Foods, the community’s only traditional grocery store, last year. In addition to reducing the village’s fresh food options, the grocer’s demise wiped out one of the village’s major revenue streams.

Because the department of approximately 30 firefighters is unionized — a rarity for a part-time department — its workers receive benefits and good salaries, which the mayor said has made sustaining it difficult. Village firefighters are compensated at a great rate, guaranteed a minimum number of hours, and have negotiated minimum manning requirements.

The mayor did not offer a timeline for when a decision on the ultimate fate of the department might be forthcoming. He said he was still waiting on estimates of how much outsourcing fire protection services might cost.

thanks Scott and Mike

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New area apparatus orders

This from Ron Wolkoff:

From fire service inc:

Calumet City  – pumper

Orland – 100′ aerial

Beach Park – pumper

Sorry no further details

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Calumet Park Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Calumet Park Mayor Ronald Denson told residents Saturday that he was considering outsourcing the village’s fire department in the wake of shrinking revenues.  Money has been especially tight for Calumet Park since the closure of Ultra Foods last year, the community’s only traditional grocery store, wiping out one of the village’s major revenue streams.

“What I’m looking at is, how can we maintain a fire department with the revenue that we have?” Denson said in response to a resident’s question about rumors that the department was on the chopping block. “If the revenue is not there, where are we going to get it? Where are we going to get the salaries that they require?” he continued, adding that he also had examined outsourcing the Public Works Department, but ultimately decided against it.

The fire department’s tenuous status was revealed during the forum’s question-and-answer portion, which followed a series of presentations by village department heads who spoke about the work they do in the community and encouraged residents to contact them with questions and concerns.

Fire Chief Howard Fisher did not mention the department’s plight during his presentation, but confirmed afterward that outsourcing operations had been discussed as part of ongoing contract negotiations with the village.

The mayor did say, however, that he had no intention of transitioning to an all-volunteer department, as had been suggested by one resident at the forum, because he did not believe it was feasible. He said he wasn’t aware of any south suburban communities that had outsourced fire operations, but knew that others were also considering it in an effort to cut costs.

Because the department of approximately 30 firefighters is unionized, workers receive benefits and good salaries, which the mayor said has made sustaining it difficult. Village firefighters are compensated at a great rate, guaranteed a minimum number of hours, and have negotiated minimum manning requirements, he said.

“You’re talking about doing pensions for people that are working part-time,” said Denson, who estimated the village spends about $1.2 million annually on fire department payroll and operations. 

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New ambulance for Calumet Park

This from Mike Summa:

This is Calumet Park’s new ambulance 2222.  This is 2016 Ford E-450 from Foster Coach.  I found this on Cal Park’s facebook page.  It is not my photo, but I just wanted to share.  Thank you!
Mike s.
Brand new custom Medix conversionon a Ford E450 Chassis
Calumet Park FD Ambulance  2222

Foster Coach Sales photo

new ambulance for Calumet Park FD

Foster Coach Sales photo

new ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

ambulance chevron striping

Foster Coach Sales photo

ambulance interior

Foster Coach Sales photo

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New ambulance for Calumet Park

From the Calumet Park Facebook page:

Straight off the product line Calumet Park FD new Beast 2222

Calumet Park FD Ambulance 2222

Straight off the product line Calumet Park FD new Beast 2222. Calumet Park FD photo

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Where are they now … Calumet Park (more)

This photo of the former Calumet Park tower ladder was found at firetrucksunlimited.com:

Storey County Fire District Truck 75

Storey County Fire District Truck 75. Former Calumet Park, IL. Firetrucksunlimited.com photo

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Where are they now … Calumet Park

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.:

The former tower ladder from Calumet Park is going in service shortly with the Storey County Fire Department northeast of Carson City, Nevada. I know it was reported before about an oil company buying it so I’m not sure how this relates. The tower is being repainted blue with a white strip to match the department’s colors by Fire Trucks Unlimited.
This is a link for updates on it’s progress. Here are a few photos from the work in progress site.
Thanks to Garry Kadzielawski for passing on this information.
Dennis
Former Calumet Park FD (IL) fire truck

Fire Trucks Unlimited photo

Former Calumet Park FD (IL) fire truck

Fire Trucks Unlimited photo

fire truck being repainted

Fire Trucks Unlimited photo

fire truck being repainted

Fire Trucks Unlimited photo

fire truck being repainted

Fire Trucks Unlimited photo

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