Posts Tagged Evanston Fire Department

Evanston Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the dailynorthwestern.com:

A $1.2 million cut to the Evanston Fire Department in the city’s proposed 2019 budget would mean eliminating nine positions and shutting down Station 4, which has led to pushback from current and former EFD personnel as well as city residents. The suggested reduction is the largest for any city department and follows a 2018 budget cut of $288,762 for EFD.

Station 4 — located at 1817 Washington St. — is in the 2nd Ward and services the southwest region of Evanston. The city manager said if city council approves the proposed budget in November, the building that houses Station 4 will be sold and nearby stations will take over for the area.

However, in an email to The Daily, Evanston Fire Local 742 union executive board members Ryan Roeder and Billy Lynch said recklessly closing Station 4 would compromise the safety that Evanston residents deserve by causing delays in service. They said the city’s five fire stations are strategically situated to respond to emergencies.

According to EFD’s 2017 Annual Report, the department responded to just over 10,000 emergency calls last year. Former EFD Chief Greg Klaiber wrote in an Oct. 7 Facebook post that 1,173 of those calls were located in the neighborhood serviced by Station 4, which is typically staffed by one captain, two firefighter/paramedics, and one fire engine.

Evanston and Northwestern are serviced by only two ambulances and seven firefighter/paramedic-staffed vehicles — five engines and two trucks. According to the proposed budget, after Station 4 is shut down, its fire engine will also be removed from service. According to Klaiber, engines located at Madison Street and Emerson Street would have to cover the area, resulting in increased response times.

Roeder and Lynch’s joint statement echoed Klaiber’s post, calling the proposed closure particularly concerning because of the already limited resources that EFD has. On top of that, they said the number of EMS calls has more than doubled in recent decades, though there has been no increase in the number of responding personnel. The proposed budget’s decrease of nine EFD positions — one layoff of an active firefighter/paramedic and the elimination of eight vacant spots — would only increase the strain,.

The city will hold a public hearing about the budget on Oct. 27, and each ward will be hosting informal budget review sessions through Oct. 24. Residents can also use the city website to comment on the proposal before the final vote in November.

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Evanston Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from evanstonnow.com:

Former Evanston fire chief Greg Klaiber is sharply criticizing plans to close one of the city’s five fire stations as part of broader cuts to balance the city’s 2019 budget

In a message posted on his Facebook page, Klaiber says he can’t support elimination of nearly 10 percent of the city’s firefighter/paramedic positions.

Klaiber, who since his retirement from the city has worked as director of emergency management at Northwestern University, says that last year about 11 percent of the calls for service in the city came from within Station 4’s protection district.

Facebook post from Greg Klaiber about closing of Evanston fire station

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Evanston Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Evanston city officials have proposed cutting nearly 40 jobs — including five police officers and nine firefighters — slashing the public health department budget, closing one recreation center, and closing and selling a fire station in order to deal with a $7.4 million deficit expected in the city’s fiscal year 2019 budget which runs Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

The discussion comes as Evanston deals with decreasing property tax revenue, increasing employee and pension costs, anticipated bond debt to pay for capital improvements around town, and costs to rebuild the Robert Crown Community Center, among other factors.

The reserve fund, which ideally should have 16.6 percent of the city’s annual operating expenses, ended 2017 at 12.8 percent. As such, $1.5 million of Evanston’s operating budget is marked for contribution to general fund reserve. The city has marked $1 million for debt service to pay for renovations to the Robert Crown Community Center.

City officials say property tax revenue has not recovered since the recession and sales taxes since that time have stayed relatively flat. Meanwhile, building permit revenue has dropped from a 2016 high and is not expected to recover soon.

  • The city proposed eliminating 38.5 jobs. Of those, 21 are vacant and 17.5 are filled. Positions that could be cut include: cultural arts coordinator, legal analyst and liquor licensing manager, facilities maintenance worker, fleet operations coordinator, payroll/pension specialist, junior mechanic, two full-time and one part-time human services advocates, the director and assistant director of public health, communicable disease specialist, one police commander, one court liaison, one police video records specialist, five police officers, nine firefighters, and two public works maintenance workers.
  • Another proposal reorganizes the parks department, which could result in one full-time and three part-time positions being cut.
  • Fire Station 4, in the 2nd Ward, could be closed and put up for sale, with all firefighter positions there eliminated, according to the proposed budget. That could save the city about $1.3 million.
  • In contrast, the city could close the Gibbs-Morrison Center in the 5th Ward, but keep the building and property and lease it out to a new operator. City staff also is proposing eliminating the Storefront Modernization Program, which includes grants to help local businesses update entryways. Cutting that program would save Evanston $75,000.
  • Also on the cutting block is Evanston’s Cultural Arts Administration, which helps support local arts. If cut, it could save the city $175,000. Staff also proposed eliminating the annual World Art and Music Festival, which would save $55,000.
  • Also proposed is reducing Mental Health Board funding by $250,000, or about 34 percent of the 2018 budget.

Some proposals to help generate additional revenue, staff has proposed increasing the residential parking permit rate from $15 to $30, raising parking ticket fees from $20 to $25, charging $70 for block party permits — which now are free, increasing the wheel tax from $75 to $85 and contracting out the city’s crossing guards.

The council is expected to begin discussing the budget at its Oct. 22 meeting and hold a public hearing on Oct. 27.

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Evanston Fire Department news

Excerpts from Evanstonnow.com:

Evanston FD Capt. Pat Novak has announced his retirement from the Evanston Fire Department after 23 years of service. He joined the department on Sept. 11, 1995. 

Community members are invited to join the department and Capt. Novak for a flag lowering ceremony on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., at fire headquarters, 909 Lake St. 

Capt. Novak began his career of public service in 1986 as a combat medic with the U.S. Army National Guard. While in Evanston, he has served as the treasurer of Local 742, a trustee of the Evanston Foreign Fire Tax Board, and finished his career as a captain in the Fire Prevention Bureau.

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Evanston Fire Department news

Excepts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Evanston Fire Department Division Chief Dwight Hohl joined the fire department in 1992 as a firefigher/paramedic and recently  announced he is retiring after nearly three decades of service.

Over the years, Hohl took on challenging roles within the department. He mentored new paramedics in the field, served on the dive team and other committees. In October 2010, he became a captain and then division chief.

As the division chief of emergency medical services, Hohl implemented such programs as community CPR and electronic patient care reporting.

His final position with the fire department has been as division chief of EMA and the Fire Prevention Bureau, where he revised the city’s emergency management plan and provided training to city employees and residents.

thanks Dan

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Evanston Fire Department news

Excerpts from the cityofevanston.org:

The Evanston Fire Department has achieved the highest possible rating for fire protection services from an insurance industry advisory company.

Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) awarded the department a Class 1 designation through its Public Protection Classification (PPC) program, which assesses communities’ fire protection efforts. The department’s new rating, which is an improvement from its previous Class 2 designation, will take effect on October 1, 2018.

ISO has evaluated the fire protection services of more than 46,000 fire departments across the nation. Only 305 nationwide, including 16 in Illinois, have achieved a Class 1 designation, placing the Evanston Fire Department in the top 1 percent of all fire departments in the country.

ISO’s Public Protection Classification review is conducted by expert ISO staff on a five-year cycle, and includes site visits, records examination and observation. Four major areas are evaluated: fire department operations, water supply, emergency communications and community risk reduction. Using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, ISO analyzes the data and then assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria.

By classifying communities’ ability to suppress fires, ISO helps communities evaluate their public fire-protection services. The PPC program provides an objective, nationwide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training. And by securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the PPC program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve their firefighting services. In general, the price of insurance in a community with a good PPC is lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal.

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Technical rescue in Evanston, 7-21-18

Excerpts from abc7chicago.com:

A tree trimmer was critically injured after a large tree branch fell on him Saturday afternoon knocking him unconscious and leaving him hanging in a large tree at about 3 p.m. in the 2700-block of Princeton Avenue in Evanston.

Fire officials said he was trapped more than 20 feet in the air. He was transported to an Evanston hospital in critical condition.

This from Tim Olk:

Skokie firefighters assisted Evanston firefighters rescue a tree service worker from a tree.

Evanston FD fire trucks

Tim Olk photo

Evanston FD fire trucks

Tim Olk photo

Evanston FD fire trucks

Tim Olk photo

Evanston FD fire trucks

Tim Olk photo

Evanston FD fire trucks

Tim Olk photo

Evanston FD fire trucks

Tim Olk photo

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Evanston Fire Department news

Excerpts from the DailyNorthwestern.com:

Evanston aldermen approved agreements with the police and firefighter unions at a council meeting Monday, authorizing city manager Wally Bobkiewicz to execute the contracts.

The Fraternal Order of Police Sergeant Union and the International Association of Fire Fighters Union both called for 3 percent wage increases for the next fiscal year. The documents state that the increases are higher than last year to account for changes to health insurance plans that went into effect on Jan. 1.

In both contracts, the city agreed to return vacation time that had been deducted last year in exchange for each union withdrawing complaints they had filed with the Illinois Department of Labor and Illinois Labor Relations Board about that removal.

FOP members were also credited with 24 hours of compensatory time for agreeing to the contract and an increase in the annual education incentive. Employees who possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from a college or university will receive an additional $1,900 stipend.

Sergeants can also participate in a voluntary physical fitness exam administered by the Evanston Police Department and can receive $500 for passing as an incentive to maintain physical fitness.

IAFF members received 30 hours of compensatory time since they agreed to not have a wage increase in 2017. This year, the union will receive a 2.75 percent retroactive increase for last year, and a 3 percent increase for 2018.

According to city documents, the IAFF agreement largely remained the same as last year. Negotiations for the next contracts with both unions will take place in the fall.

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Building collapse in Evanston, 2-25-18

From Tim Olk at the building collapse at 1829 Simpson in Evanston 2/25/18

building collapse in Evanston

Tim Olk photo

building collapse in Evanston

Tim Olk photo

building collapse in Evanston

Tim Olk photo

building collapse in Evanston

Tim Olk photo

building collapse in Evanston

Tim Olk photo

building collapse in Evanston

Tim Olk photo

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Evanston Fire Department news

From the dailynorthwestern.com:

Aldermen at Monday’s City Council meeting approved an expansion of the city’s employment opportunities fund, allowing low-income firefighter applicants to be reimbursed for application and testing fees.

Reimbursements will come from a reserve account of deposits collected from construction companies that violate the city’s Local Employment Program — which requires that at least 25 percent of the company’s labor force consist of women, minorities, or area residents.

Evanston Fire Chief Brian Scott said the change will help the Evanston Fire Department diversify its force by eliminating a potential cost barrier: Application fees are roughly $25 and the physical agility test costs between $165 and $175. Applicants may receive up to $200 from the fund. Aldermen want to change how the fund works so that it can become a direct payment to the institution, instead of a reimbursement. This would prevent residents from having to come up with the funds while waiting for reimbursement. 

In the past, the pool was only available for union construction workers looking to be reimbursed for certificate training programs. The deposits currently total around $80,000.

thanks Dan

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