Posts Tagged North Riverside Fire Department tower ladder

North Riverside considers privatizing the fire department (more)

Excerpts from the

A 2014 bid to have a Cook County Circuit Court judge declare that the Village of North Riverside had a right to unilaterally terminate its contract with union firefighters fizzled on March 15 when the Illinois Court of Appeals upheld the circuit court’s ruling that it had no jurisdiction over the matter.

In an eight-page ruling handed down by a panel of three appellate court judges, Justice Terrence J. Lavin wrote that the village’s argument that it was merely raising a legal question about its right to end a collectively bargained contract with firefighters was patently disingenuous.

Rather, the appellate court ruled, the circuit court properly dismissed the village’s complaint. As exclusive jurisdiction lies with the [Illinois Labor Relations] Board.

It’s not clear exactly whether or when the matter will end up as the subject of binding arbitration in front of the Illinois Labor Relations Board.

But, North Riverside Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. told the Landmark in a phone interview that the March 15 decision would not be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court and that the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court is now dead.

The village is now pinning its hopes on another case in front of the Illinois Court of Appeals. In July 2016, the Illinois Labor Relations Board voted 4 to 1 in favor of the firefighter union’s unfair labor practice complaint, arguing the village had no right to unilaterally terminate its contract with firefighters.

North Riverside appealed that decision and the matter is pending in the Illinois Court of Appeals. It’s unclear when a ruling will be handed down, but the case has been fully briefed and both sides are simply awaiting a decision.

If that ruling comes down in favor of the firefighters, the union would ask the labor board to set a date for arbitration, which has been on hold since January 2015.

The union demanded arbitration in September 2015, shortly after the village filed its lawsuit in circuit court. The Illinois Labor Relations Board agreed to the demand, and ground rules for the arbitration process were set at a meeting in January 2015. But the arbitrator assigned to the case held the arbitration in abeyance until all matters before the courts were cleared up.

Hermanek said he’d prefer hammering out a new union agreement with firefighters to arbitration.

Hermanek wants to limit the number of union firefighter positions because of the pension obligations that were the primary argument for the 2014 fire privatization bid. The department is short three firefighters, but the situation has led to high overtime costs, with union firefighters filling in whenever a shift is short-staffed.

The mayor would like the union to agree to allow the village to hire paid-on-call or contract firefighters to fill the gaps when shifts are short of personnel in order to reduce the overtime burden. The union reportedly has rejected the proposal.

Chris Kribales, president of North Riverside Firefighters Union 2714, said firefighters would agree to allowing paid-on-call or contract firefighters to fill out shifts in return for replacing the village’s contract paramedic service with part-timers culled from the department’s hiring list.

Kribales said the part-time ambulance staffing model has been employed by the Bensenville Fire Protection District. According to a help wanted ad from that department last November, part-timers’ starting pay is $12.50 per hour.

Despite setback after setback in the courts, Hermanek defended the village’s decision to file the suit seeking termination of the union contract, saying that someone had to take on the unions in order to control pension obligations. During the 2016-17 fiscal year, police and fire pensions account for about 12 percent of the village’s annual operating budget.

thanks Dan

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North Riverside considers privatizing the fire department (more)

Excerpts from the

On the heels of a fiscal year in which every single fund, from general operation to water to waste hauling ended in the black, North Riverside’s finance director on May 24 said the village is in its best financial position since prior to the economic crash of 2008.

Although the figures are not yet audited, revenues for the second straight fiscal year reportedly outpaced expenditures in the village’s general operating fund, which pays for day-to-day expenses such as salaries and benefits, including pension contributions, by nearly $200,000.

And for the second straight year, North Riverside’s water enterprise fund, which for two decades operated at a loss because the village’s general fund subsidized costs it now passes along to customers, also ended in the black by about $430,000.

During the second of two meetings to discuss the proposed 2016-17 fiscal year budget, Scarpiniti on May 24 also said the village will be in a stronger position to argue its case for an improved bond rating when village officials meet with the Moody’s rating service later this month.

Should the village’s bond rating improve, officials would be poised in the next six to eight months to issue between $2.2 million and $2.5 million in alternate revenue bonds to fund a major street improvement campaign along with a handful of other capital expenditures identified in the 2016-17 budget.

The debt service on the alternate revenue bonds would be funded by earmarking roughly $250,000 in revenue the village receives from its places of eating and drinking tax. The village will raise that tax to a full 2 percent from the present 1 percent in 2016-17, which should result in an additional $460,000 annually.

Another major purchase coming in 2016-17 is a new aerial ladder truck for the fire department, which is being financed via an installment contract with Pierce Manufacturing, at a cost to the village $1.16 million.

It replaces a 1997 Pierce aerial that has been out of service with an inoperable main ladder since 2014. The fire department will take delivery of the new truck sometime in July, according to Fire Chief Brian Basek, and will attempt to find a buyer for its old truck.

 The numbers in the 2016-17 budget also indicate that the village’s two-year campaign to privatize its fire department may be coming to an end.

While the village is still pinning its hopes on a reversal of a circuit court decision by the Illinois Appellate Court and favorable responses to village protests of a proposed unfair labor practice ruling by the Illinois Labor Relations Board, the budget indicates North Riverside’s investment in those fights is over.

The budget includes no money allocated for privatization in the new fiscal year and a much lower budget figure for fighting union grievances, most of which have come from firefighters in the past three years.

After spending $47,721 in legal fees regarding fire department issues in 2013-14, North Riverside spent $265,762 in 2014-15 and an estimated $252,475 in 2015-16.

The legal services budget for the fire department in the fiscal year ending April 30, 2017 is estimated at $100,000, a majority of that for contract negotiations and grievance proceedings. The mayor and firefighters have been meeting informally for several months. On May 24, Hermanek said he’d agree to a contract with the union and hire three more firefighters if the union would agree to reduce the number of firefighters allowed to call off during a single shift.

Right now, two people are allowed to call off during a shift, a policy that Hermanek said is responsible for skyrocketing overtime costs that have prevented the village from hiring more employees.

The overtime problem would be solved if the union would reduce the number of people asking for a shift off from two to one, however the union won’t budge, Hermanek said.

thanks Dan

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MABAS Division 11 fire trucks

This from Dan McInerney:

Last week MABAS Division 11 conducted a division wide Blue Card drill at the Cicero FD training tower. Departments from Division 11 performed basic fireground activities with an emphasis on radio protocol. The rain and clouds didn’t make for great pictures but I managed to grab a few.
North Riverside Fire Department

North Riverside Truck 806. Dan McInerney photo

Forest park Fire Department engine 401

Forest Park Engine 401. Dan McInerney photo

Berwyn FIre Department Engine 903

Berwyn Engine 903. Dan McInerney photo

Berwyn Fire Department Quint 901

Berwyn Quint 901 from the rear. Dan McInerney photo

Berwyn Fire Department Quint 901

Berwyn Quint 901. Dan McInerney photo

Berwyn T904
Berwyn Fire Department Truck 904

Berwyn Truck 904. Dan McInerney photo

CICR Hook and Ladder 2
Cicero Fire Department Ladder 2

Cicero Fire Department Ladder 2. Dan McInerney photo

Cicero Fire Department Ladder 2

Cicero Fire Department Ladder 2. Dan McInerney photo

Cicero Fire Department Ladder 2

Cicero Fire Department Ladder 2. Dan McInerney photo

Surburban Cook County EOC center rig. Don’t have a whole lot of info on this one.
Cook County Mobile Command Post

Cook County Mobile Command Unit. Dan McInerney photo

Members of CICR E3 operate on the forcible entry simulator
Cicero firefighters

Cicero firefighters working the door prop. Dan McInerney photo

Other images from the drill
firefighters training

Firefighters prepare an entry into the tower. Dan McInerney photo

firemen climbing ladder

Two firemen climb the ladder of Berwyn T904. Dan McInerney photo

firemen training

Several members congregate between evolutions. Dan McInerney photo

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Berwyn Still Alarm 4-17-13

This from Drew Gresik:

This evening (4/17/13), the Berwyn Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at Stanley Avenue and Grove Avenue. First arriving units reported heavy smoke showing from the roof of a 2 story building. The building has businesses on the 1st floor and apartments on the 2nd. 900 took Grove Avenue Command and reported 2 lines were being stretched for an interior attack. Truck 904 had the roof, and Quint 901 was in position for a master stream, but it was not used. Note the new Expedition assigned to Incident Command 900, and the new red and white LED light bar on Engine 902. Here are a few of my photos.
Drew Gresik
Berwyn Fire Department

Firefighters descend from the roof as a supply line is picked up. Drew Gresik photo

Berwyn Fire Department

Berwyn Quint 901 laddered the roof. Drew Gresik photo

Berwyn Fire Department

Berwyn truck to the roof. Drew Gresik photo

North Riverside FD tower ladder

North Riverside tower ladder at the scene. Drew Gresik photo

Berwyn Fire Department

New battalion chief buggy for Berwyn. Drew Gresik photo

Berwyn Fire Department

Berwyn Engine 902 on a hydrant. Drew Gresik photo

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