We mentioned HERE that the Tinley Park Fire Department has placed an order for a new aerial.

The TribLocal has an article which discussed funding of the new truck.

¬†Regular donations from Tinley Park residents are still proving indispensable to the fire department more than a century after the town’s first fundraiser for firefighters.

The Village Board recently agreed to purchase a ladder truck for the fire department for $850,000, but thanks to the Tinley Park Fire Department Association, only half of the funds will come from village tax coffers.

The association will pay for $425,000 of the purchase with money raised through its annual dinner dance and fundraising drive, a tradition that started in 1902.

“It’s helped us keep costs to the taxpayers down, so we certainly appreciate all the individual contributions towards that,” said Trustee Brian Maher, who chairs the Public Safety Committee.

While the village’s municipal fire department currently employs more than 100 part-time firefighters, it started out as a volunteer operation that relied on residents for financial support. The department has seen many changes since it was chartered in 1901, but the support it gets from the community has seemingly remained the same.

“It kind of goes back, I think, to when they were running a true volunteer fire department and they had to raise money to buy equipment,” said firefighter and association president Mike Hughes.

The first Annual Firefighters Dance, held in 1902, raised $15.15 for the department, he said, and 110 years later, the dance is still held every January and is one of the association’s biggest fundraisers.

“We’re a very blessed organization,” he said. “It’s a great town and it’s got a lot of pride. What the community does for us, it’s kind of amazing. It really is.”

The group regularly purchases equipment for the department to use, including ladder trucks and fire engines. The last big purchase was made in 2007 when the association spent $401,000 on a fire engine. Because of the expense, the village generally split some of the larger purchases. Without the association’s fundraising, Maher said the village would have to rely entirely on tax dollars.

The entire article can be found HERE.

thanks Dennis

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