Posts Tagged Lt. Richard Nieves

Carpentersville Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Carpentersville Fire Department’s new chief has a list of 10 objectives expected to be completed by mid-October — dubbed the “100 Day Plan” — to improve communication, training, risk management and personnel collaboration, said Chief John-Paul Schilling, who started his new position June 28.

 Since launching the initiative July 13, the fire department has tackled seven goals on the list. Village administrators, fire officials and executive board members from the full-time and part-time firefighters unions were in the midst of developing the plan before Schilling officially started, he said, making it easy for him to contribute ideas and jump headfirst into his leadership role.

The plan largely centers around the creation of committees — such as a safety committee, a training committee and an interdepartmental budget team — that will focus on reviewing past practices, revising guidelines and recommending improvements for specific areas within the fire department. With a large number of firefighters interested in being involved, Schilling said, committees will be re-evaluated annually.

Other objectives include establishing new procedures for recruiting and hiring part-time firefighters, as well as researching the feasibility of a project management software to improve efficiency and transparency — a process that could be implemented villagewide, Schilling said.

Additionally, Schilling has already begun holding regular labor-management meetings, as well as periodic meetings with battalion chiefs and lieutenants. Those sessions, he said, have prompted comments, concerns, suggestions and necessary discussions between staff members at all levels.

“Chief Schilling has done an excellent job reaching out to members and instilling the confidence in them that he will do everything in his power to ensure the most positive outcome,” Rick Nieves, president of the Carpentersville Professional Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 4790, said in a statement.

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Carpentersville firefighters upset over impending layoffs

The Daily Herald has an article about reaction to the upcoming layoffs in Carpentersville.

A routine agenda item in which Carpentersville officials paid off a significant amount of debt Tuesday has deepened the divide between the Carpentersville Fire Department and village officials.

Carpentersville officials announced their intention last week to lay off five employees, including two full-time firefighters, and to eliminate several positions as they work to close a projected $400,000 deficit in the upcoming budget. Officials expect to save at least $235,000 using those measures.

The union that represents the 32 full-time firefighters said it did not expect the cuts in the fire department, particularly after resolving a contract dispute with the village over scheduling issues less than two months ago. Union leadership is expected to meet with village officials Friday to discuss the pending layoffs that affect the two firefighters with the least seniority. As it stands, their last day is March 28.

Tuesday, the village board approved paying off the remaining $565,000 in general obligation bonds it took out in 2004 for roadwork and related projects.

While the final payment wasn’t due until December 2015, paying it off early saves $20,000 in interest, officials said. The money earmarked for that repayment can’t be used for anything else, including personnel, officials said.

But before the vote, Chris Scholl, a Carpentersville firefighter and resident, asked the board to rescind the layoffs until it has time to consider their potential ramifications to the village.

Not only has Scholl created a blog critical of the board and of Village Manager J. Mark Rooney, but he has circulated an online petition calling for Rooney’s immediate removal over what he calls Rooney’s “poor management of village affairs.”

“When looking at a $400,000 deficit that the manager has claimed … it appears very likely that that deficit is caused by the payment that you will be voting on tonight,” Scholl said. “Paying a debt that isn’t due and laying off employees to offset the deficit that it will create while claiming an economic hardship, doesn’t seem to be an honest way to do business.”

Retired Carpentersville Fire Chief John Schuldt publicly took sides at Tuesday’s board meeting by sitting with the six firefighters in attendance. He hugged several firefighters before the meeting started but did not address the board. Union President Lt. Rick Nieves said Schuldt, fire chief from 1996 until 2013, attended Tuesday’s meeting without being asked.

Meanwhile, Rooney said he couldn’t decide whether Scholl’s budgeting knowledge was “a little suspect to say the least” or if he’s intentionally trying to confuse the public.

“They freely entered (into) that agreement,” Rooney said. “The village has every right to examine the needs of operation over the village and make these decisions, … but this campaign to misinform the public and claim something that is contractually allowed as something nefarious, it’s just not true.”

thanks Dan

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Carpentersville IAFF Local 4790 reaches out to residents

From the IAFF Local 4790 web site:

Manpower Cuts Threaten Carpentersville Residents’ Safety

Added Average Response Time Likely Will Cause Loss of Life

The Carpentersville Village Board’s recent decision to cut fire department services represents a significant threat to emergency response, public safety studies show.

Village officials have told Carpentersville firefighters they intend to reduce manpower by up to 4 positions each shift, which will directly threaten emergency response capability. The daily staffing level of the Carpentersville Fire Department will drop to far less than that provided by neighboring municipalities.

“This is an extremely disturbing development, one that is not only unnecessary but which is a serious threat to the residents of Carpentersville,” said Lt. Richard Nieves, president of Carpentersville Local 4790 of the International Association of Firefighters. “Since 2008 our staffing has declined from 13 firefighter/paramedics available down to 8 on any given day.

“The maximum number of firefighters available when the department is at full strength may be 12, but that level occurs only 50 days per year. Compare our staffing levels to a municipality like Streamwood, which staffs 15 firefighters each day at full strength, and never drops below 10. Streamwood is a fair comparison because their department response demand is nearly equal to Carpentersville’s. “They are providing more fire and EMS protection with 3.1 million less dollars than Carpentersville.”

“Bottom line is this: there is no doubt that response time will lengthen in Carpentersville, which means lives and property will be gravely affected. This is a potentially disastrous decision by the political people who run the affairs of our village.”

In its 2010-2013 contract, 33 Carpentersville firefighters took minimal raises to keep manning levels secure and conceded salary and benefits up to $465,000 over the life of their contract so the village could maintain professional standard service levels.

During that same time period the village added staffing in upper level management within the village that included substantial pay increases.

“Our members have struggled to establish a daily minimum with an eye toward maintaining the public’s safety, but the city refused to accept our efforts,” Nieves said. “Instead, the political powers called for a reduction in manpower.

“They have said they want to maintain their right to shut down the use of a fire engine. Now they appear to be determined to execute that right at the expense of public safety.

“We offered them an alternative that would have reduced their expenses but they have refused our offer. Our proposal would have maintained the previous staffing levels of 12 on-duty firefighters every day, 365 days a year.”

Nieves said a result of the village’s cuts would take an engine out of service at least 53 times per year. The affected station will be manned with only two firefighters. Station 2, located on the east side of the village, will run as a “jump company” leaving the station without the ability to respond when a second call is dispatched. This represents a service reduction of nearly 50 percent.

“Our average response time is now less than 4 minutes, this will increase significantly. Studies show brain death begins to occur within 3-4 minutes when someone stops breathing, and fires in today’s homes burn hotter and faster, doubling in size every minute.

“On average we respond to 3500 calls annually, any increase in times will have a negative impact on the community. Insurance ratings will jump from the current ISO level of 3. This increase will negate any savings village officials say they are passing on to the homeowners.

“Sadly, this is nothing more than a shell game. The village board may or may not believe they are reducing costs responsibly but, in fact, they are simply shifting the costs.

“Worse, lives and property will be put at risk as the politicians move the money from one shell to another.”


thanks Dan

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