Posts Tagged Fire Chief Robert Tutko

Homer Township FPD news

Excerpts from

A new fire chief has been chosen to lead the Homer Township Fire Protection District.

Battalion Chief Christopher Locacius was picked by the board on Nov. 7 as the district’s new fire chief, effective Jan. 1, according to a news release from the fire protection district. The district services an area between the Northwest Homer Fire Protection District and the Mokena Fire Protection District.

He started his fire service career in 1992 and obtained a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on public administration in 2010. Last year, he obtained his chief fire officer certification, the highest certification offered by the Illinois State Fire Marshal.

With Locacius’ appointment, promotions of a replacement battalion chief, captain, and lieutenant will also become effective at the start of a new year.

Since last September, Deputy Fire Marshal Dave Bricker, a 34-year fire service member, has served as acting chief, after Robert Tutko, who was hired as the first full-time chief in 2012, resigned from the fire protection district.

Bricker, of Lockport, obtained a bachelor’s degree in fire service management and will become the fire prevention division chief at the start of next year.

A formal swearing-in ceremony will take place on Jan. 10. Along with the promotions, the fire protection district officials will swear in five firefighters who have successfully completed their one-year probationary period.

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Homer Township and Northwest Homer FPD news

Excerpts from the

Illinois American Water is partnering with the Homer Township Fire Protection District and Northwest Homer Fire and Ambulance Protection District to improve emergency communications for residents in the Southwest region.
Illinois American Water is donating space on the elevated water storage tank in the Village of Homer Glen to both fire protection districts who will have public safety communication devices installed.

According to Robert Tutko, fire chief for the Homer Township Fire Protection District, both districts had been experiencing radio communication issues in the area. In cooperation with WESCOM, it was determined an additional receiver site was needed along Bell Road between 143rd and 159th Streets.

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New dispatch center in Will County creates controversey

Excerpts from the

Police and fire agencies in western Will County said they feel slighted because the county is building a consolidated dispatch center for 30 agencies in eastern Will County and, if the county is paying for a new center for one group they believe it should pay for all.

The $5 million plan to add the new center when a new Sheriff’s Office facility is built this year is “generous but seriously misguided,” according to a resolution recently passed by the Bolingbrook Village Board.

But Will County officials call it efficient government, and said it is no different than spending money on major road improvements in one part of the county and not the other. Consolidation of dispatch centers has been mandated by the state.

Under a state mandate, Will County has to reduce the number of its dispatch centers from six to three. WESCOM and the City of Joliet will each continue to operate their centers, but the Will County Sheriff’s Office, Lincolnway Communications Center, Romeoville and Eastern Will County Communications Center (EASCOM) will all be consolidated into the new center at Laraway Road and Route 52 … which will include administrative offices for the county’s 911 board, which oversees all the dispatch centers.

Agencies within the Western Will County Communications Center — WESCOM — are expected to follow Bolingbrook’s resolution, which demands an equitable solution, noting that WESCOM, which dispatches calls for 21 police and fire departments from Bolingbrook to Wilmington, took on a $5 million bond issue to pay for its new dispatch center, which opened in 2014 in Plainfield.

The Lockport City Council discussed a resolution at its Wednesday night meeting. Lockport Police Chief Terry Lemming said he is happy the county is heeding a state mandate to consolidate the dispatch centers of 30 agencies to allow for better coordination, calling it a very effective way to do business.

But, on the other hand, he and other city officials are unhappy that Lockport residents, along with residents from all over the county, will have to help pay for the county’s $5 million project.

WESCOM members said the issue is equity not jealousy.

The Homer Township Fire District also is expected to pass a resolution similar to Bolingbrook’s at its May 2 meeting, to get the county’s attention, according to Fire Chief Robert Tutko … But they already have, and if the reaction during Thursday’s county board meeting is any indication, county officials are not likely to fork over any funds to WESCOM.

WESCOM built its own center in 2014 by issuing $5.1 million in bonds over 20 years and each agency is required to pay $271,000 as its share.

Bolingbrook Public Safety Director Tom Ross, said those served by WESCOM are paying twice — once for the WESCOM center, and again through the county’s use of RTA funds to build the new Sheriff’s Office facility.

“This is about being responsible to our taxpayers … We’re just asking for equity,” Ross said.

“No one is guaranteed equity. It’s hard to put a figure on circumstances like this,” said Crete Mayor Mike Einhorn, director of EASCOM, which includes 16 police and fire agencies.

“I don’t complain about what goes on in their half of the county. A majority of Will County money is spent on public works projects out there and not here. I could make the equity claim too, but that’s not how it works,” he said.

“We spend Will County money to benefit residents all over the county, whether it’s for roads or dispatch centers,” Palmer said. “People want efficient government. They want us to work together.”

WESCOM serves 44 percent of the county’s population and 21 police and fire agencies, compared to the new dispatch center, which will serve 33.7 percent of the people and 31 agencies when the three centers are consolidated. Joliet serves 21 percent of the population, but handles one-third of all calls, according to officials.

Rauter and Ross also fear they could lose member agencies to the new center … as … WESCOM was built for growth, and Romeoville residents would be better served by joining.

Currently half of Romeoville is served by Lockport Township Fire District which is part of WESCOM, and the other half by the Romeoville Fire Department. If it were part of WESCOM, it could reduce 3,600 transferred calls each year — about 10 per day, he said.

“But I can’t compete with free,” Rauter said.

Braidwood officials, who are now part of WESCOM, are thinking of moving into the new center, but Rauter hopes to meet with them and “work out their concerns.” Even if Braidwood left, it would still be required to pay its share of WESCOM’s debt for its building, he said.

thanks Dan

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