Posts Tagged Joliet FD discusses purchasing a quint

Joliet Fire Department news (more)

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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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Joliet Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The proposed acquisition of a quint faced stiff opposition from Joliet firefighters, while the mayor said the city needs to do something about obscene amounts of overtime.  Firefighters at a city council workshop meeting Monday said putting a quint in downtown Station 1 would threaten public safety in the older section of the city.

The quint would allow the department to cut back on staff and save on overtime spending. It would replace an engine and a ladder truck at Station 1. Each requires a three-firefighter crew, so using a quint would cut back the number of firefighters at Station 1 by three. Firefighter said it would also reduce the number of firefighters that first arrive at the scene of a fire.

Fire Chief Joe Formhals said he did not consider the vehicle a threat to public safety but it might allow him to get some control of the overtime. “The purpose of the quint is to free up those three individuals so we would have them somewhere else,” Formhals said.

The mayor pointed to $300,000 spent on fire department overtime in December. The truck would cost $842,000.

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