Excerpts from theherald-news.com:

Joliet will not convert a damaged tower ladder into a quint, a move that was opposed by firefighter unions when it was proposed in February to control overtime costs. The Joliet City Council this week approved a new proposal to spend $85,000 to repair the damaged basket and keep it as a tower ladder. The 17-year-old tower ladder was damaged during a fire call on Christmas day. Formhals said it will eventually need to be replaced.

Firefighters, who packed a February council meeting when the quint plan was on the agenda, argued that the use of quints also reduces tools available to fight fires and are less effective. The conversion of the tower ladder to a quint would have cost $183,000.

Fire Chief Joseph Formhals had also proposed buying a demo-quint for $842,000 to replace the department’s one aging quint. He said the discussion with unions could continue until the next union contract talks. The contract runs through 2019. He had sought to reduce staffing requirements to cut back on overtime paid to compensate for staffing shortages.

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