Posts Tagged Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI)

Historic fire in Lincolnwood, 11-3-92

Images from Steve Redick:

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

classic fire scene

Steve Redick photo

classic fire scene

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

classic fire scene

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

firemen make ladder rescue at office building fire

Steve Redick photo

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

10 Rescued From Blaze At Lincolnwood Bank   11/3/92

Firefighters rescued 10 people from a fire that spread through offices in the Lincolnwood Bank Building in the north suburb Monday evening, fire officials said.

“We had quite a rescue effort,” said Cmdr. Drew Smith of the Lincolnwood Fire Department. “It took some time to fight the fire. We couldn`t put water on it because we were rescuing people. One man was hanging from the (third-floor) window, and we had to rescue him by ladder.” Seven other people also were rescued by ladder from windows of the five-story building at 4433 W. Touhy Ave., he said.

Smith said he didn`t know how many people were working in the building at the time. The fire started about 5:15 p.m. on the third floor in the south central portion of the brick and glass building. The building houses several offices on the second through fifth floors. The bank, which is on the first floor, was not damaged.

Seven engines, five trucks, and 50 firefighters helped fight the extra-alarm blaze. Lincolnwood was assisted by firefighters from Skokie, Niles, Morton Grove, Evanston, Glenview, Rosemont, Des Plaines, Northfield, Park Ridge, Winnetka, and Wilmette.

this from Drew Smith:

Here’s what I can add:

For those that don’t know the geographical location of Lincolnwood, it is surrounded by the City of Chicago on three sides and Skokie to the north. While Skokie companies arrive quickly, the other suburban mutual aid takes a little longer. Also, with the exception of Evanston, all the mutual aid comes from the north and west as Chicago is to the south and Lake Michigan is on the east. In the past several years Chicago has begun to respond into the suburbs on MABAS alarms when requested.

Lincolnwood FD (LFD) was already on two ambulance calls and as such the truck crew was staffing the second ambulance, not the truck. Terry Menzel was the Commander (BC) on duty and IC. He is currently the deputy chief at the Woodstock Fire Rescue District. I came in when they called the MABAS box alarm and assisted at the command post. The media was everywhere. When this fire occurred, the LFD was just a little over two years old having been created 1/1/1990 after the village informed Chicago they would no longer rely on the CFD for fire suppression. Lincolnwood Police had used Paramedic Services of IL for ambulance service since 1977 and after going out for bids, PSI was selected over two other contractors to run the LFD. I am proud to say I was part of that original group and worked to purchase the apparatus and equipment in the ten months leading up to the start of the FD.

As I recall (its been over 23 years now) …

Skokie T16 arrived pretty quick as they are about a mile to 1.5 miles down the road. They were presented with multiple people at the third floor windows and as shown in the photos began rescues.

The fire was on the third floor. Getting the hose flaked and charged took some time in the heavy smoke, and manpower in the first ten minutes was limited. Skokie sent additional companies and chiefs when the rescue was announced. When I arrived the rescues were over and the fire suppression was underway. It was a standpipe operation, I believe, but I recall that in the building just about each floor had a different floor plan and the two stairwells, while they discharged remote from one another at ground level, were pretty much back to back inside a center core. One went from the roof and penthouse to the basement while the other was just from the lobby to the top floor.

It could have been much worse.

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North Riverside considers privatizing FD (more)

The Riverside-Brookfield Landmark has an article on the continuing push to privatize the fire department in North Riverside:

The village of North Riverside filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, asking a judge to allow it to proceed with a plan to privatize its fire department in order to escape the “prospective devastating financial consequences” that would result from operating its full-time municipal fire department in the future.

In the lawsuit, the village claims that management and North Riverside Firefighters Union 2714 are at an impasse after “months” of negotiations. The first time the two sides sat down to discuss a new contract was June 24. Their final negotiation session, overseen by a federal mediator, took place Sept. 9.

At the heart of the lawsuit is the village’s contention that it should not in this instance be limited by language in its union contract with firefighters and contained in the Illinois Labor Relations Act, which states that no one side can unilaterally change employment conditions while negotiations or arbitration are pending.

The village’s position is that “it can no longer responsibly enter into a ‘new or amended agreement’ with the union” because of its financial situation, which it lays out in detail in the suit. Further, the village argues that neither the union contract nor labor law prevents the village from outsourcing its fire protection services “following a good-faith legislative determination of the present and future economic necessity to take such action, and following good-faith negotiations with the union.”

The firefighters union remains unconvinced that the village has any right to terminate the conditions of its contract, which expired April 30.

“They can’t do anything without a declaratory judgment,” said Rick Urbinati, president of Local 2714. “The fact is, it’s still in effect, and we’re still working. We’re not leaving work.”

North Riverside Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. stated earlier this week that he would be disappointed if the village was unable to privatize the fire department by November.

As a result, the village’s attorney, Burt Odelson, said he will be asking Judge Diane J. Larsen to expedite the case during an as-yet unscheduled hearing next week.

Meanwhile, union firefighters from North Riverside and other neighboring communities met in Berwyn on Friday to discuss the possibility of pitching consolidation as a better resolution to voters as early as next spring. Urbinati said the first step is to determine what the boundaries of such a consolidated department might be. After that, firefighters would have to get enough signatures on petitions in each community that would be affected to get a consolidation question on the ballot.

As for the lawsuit pending in circuit court, Urbinati expressed confidence that a judge would uphold the language in the contract and as expressed in labor law.

“I don’t see how any judge can allow this,” said Urbinati. “But if that’s where this needs to go, we’ll wait to hear what the judge has to say.”

North Riverside Fire Lawsuit

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North Riverside considers privatizing FD (more)

The Landmark.com has an article on the continued negotiations involving a possible privatization of the North Riverside Fire Department.

North Riverside Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. could decide as early as this week whether to move ahead with a plan to privatize the village firefighting services.  While there’s no timeline for action, Hermanek indicated he would quickly move to privatize the department if no progress is made during a negotiating session with union members scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 3.

This time the two sides won’t be facing each other across the negotiating table. Instead, they’ll be in separate rooms and the session will be in the hands of a federal labor mediator.  Mediators are required by law to become involved in negotiations when there is an impasse.

“We’re very, very far apart,” said Hermanek. “We’ll see if we can make some headway. If not, something will happen.”

That “something” will be turning over the village’s fire services to Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI), which for nearly three decades has provided paramedic services for North Riverside.

The village’s privatization offer to firefighters included extending all 16 union members job offers with PSI at their present salaries. However, the firefighters’ benefits would change. Most important for firefighters, they would no longer accumulate pension benefits. Instead, they would qualify for pension benefits they’ve already earned, but moving forward would be part of a 401(k) plan. Firefighters would no longer be employees of the village, but of PSI.

Firefighters, however, have so far rejected the village’s offer and claim that any move to privatize the department would be illegal. They have threatened to fight any such action in the courts. Hermanek believes that privatizing the department is legal. He also wants to move quickly, he said, because the Illinois General Assembly may move this fall to outlaw privatization bids like the one being proposed in North Riverside unless the question is put to voters.

Hermanek said he’s heard that state senate Democrats are ready to introduce a bill regarding fire department privatization when the General Assembly reconvenes in November.

“That’s why I don’t want this dragging on,” Hermanek said.

The sides remain far apart, he said, despite what he called a “significant compromise” on the part of the village in negotiations. He declined to specify what that compromise involved. Firefighters would like to see PSI eliminated from the equation by training union firefighters to be paramedics. The village contends that solution will increase the village’s pension obligation.

Rick Urbinati, the president of North Riverside Firefighters Union Local 2714, said he had not yet seen an updated offer from the village but expected to see something Sept. 3.

“From what I understand, they have a compromise proposal for us,” said Urbinati. “We haven’t seen it, so I have no idea what kind of compromise they’re planning at this point. Right now we’re at where we’ve always been.”

The village contends that the burden of firefighters’ pensions — it now stands at about $1.8 million annually and is growing — is too much to bear. One of the reasons the pension burden is so high right now is that, during the past decade, North Riverside has failed to adequately meet its fire and police pension obligations. In several of those years, the village failed to make any contribution toward pensions for police and firefighters.

Firefighters have also complained that they are being made a scapegoat for problems village officials have created over more than two decades, consciously deciding to spend money on programs such as lifetime health insurance for village hall retirees, failing to increase property taxes for more than two decades, and the now-discontinued practice of subsidizing water and waste hauling services for residents.

Union members also believe they are being targeted because North Riverside Firefighters Union Local 2714 backed a political slate opposed to Hermanek and the majority VIP Party in the spring of 2013.

thanks Dan

The sequence of previous posts on this topic:

Post #2

Post #3

Post #4

Post #5

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