Posts Tagged Peoria FIre Department

Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from hoiabc.com:

In March, construction will be completed for Peoria’s new Fire Station 4 located at Western and Howet. It’s a project three years in the making, and will honor the River City’s first black fireman. The Edward B. Gaines Fire Station 4 will give the area a huge boost helping an area that badly needs it.

The name change remembers a man who broke barriers. The new building cost around $3 million, split between city and state funds. It will house Truck 4 and Engine 4.

The current Station 4 on Southwest Jefferson is the oldest in the city and the building’s future is unclear.

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 Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from CentralIllinoisproud.com:

For four days this week, the Peoria Fire Department said it’ll temporarily suspend service to Engine Company 2, which is out of Station #8 located on Hurlburt Street because staff have been affected by COVID-19, leaving the station empty-handed.

The temporary suspension runs from Dec. 22-25, but Battalion Chief Jim Bachman said there are no guarantees that the time frame will not expand. Engine Company 2 returned to service on Nov. 1 after the remainder of the existing operational budget for 2021 showed enough funds to bring the engine back into service. Bachman is confident that no matter what happens, the engine will be recommissioned in 2022.

Despite continuously monitoring their operational finances to stay within budget, Fire Administration said there were some unexpected expenses.

Residents will continue to receive service from the 11 fire stations within city limits.

“Regardless of how many people live in that area, I’m confident that the fire department can make whatever adjustments they have to so that when backups from other stations are needed, they are in a position to make those things happen in a timely manner,” said Jackson.

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New engine for Peoria Fire Department

From E-ONE Hamburg New York @EOneHamburgNewYork:

Check out the City of Peoria FD’s (IL) new E-ONE stainless steel side mount pumper (SO# 144543)! The details: Typhoon long cab with 67.5” CA, Cummins L9 400HP engine, Waterous CS 1250-GPM single-stage pump, 530-gal water tank. Thank you, City of Peoria FD, for allowing E-ONE to serve you! #EONENY #EONEstrength #EONE#firetruck #pumper

E-ONE stainless steel fire engine

E-ONE photo

E-ONE stainless steel fire engine

E-ONE photo

E-ONE stainless steel fire engine

E-ONE photo

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from centralillinoisproud.com:

In a sudden 6-4 vote, the Peoria City Council took a big step toward the restoration of public safety services Tuesday night, voting to restore one of the city’s fire engines, which was cut in 2020. This would go into effect on Nov. 1.

During the council’s discussion of the 2022-2023 biennial budget, a councilman said the city has seen the possibility of civilian casualties due to the reductions in the fire department.

Peoria Fire Chief Jim Bachman talked about how the fire department’s ability to control fires to its room of origin has decreased since 2017.

The motion was brought forth that “the city council direct the city manager to restore an engine cut by Council action in 2020.”

The engine will be staffed by 11 existing firefighters, via overtime, until the city applies and possibly gets a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to cover the continued costs next year.

Although this sudden motion was immediately supported one councilwoman, it received pushback from four others. The unexpected timing of the motion during the budget discussion seemed to be one of the lead causes of the conflict amongst council members.

One member defended the motion saying that it had to do with positions that were cut due to COVID-19 and that the city is on good financial ground to make this decision. Ultimately the mayor and five council members voted to pass the motion.

The motion’s sponsor said that the fire chief will decide where the engine will be placed and that this creates a safer Peoria.

In addition to wanting more information on Bachman’s data regarding containing fires to its room of origin, one council member brought up concerns of how much the overtime would affect the firefighters.

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from centralillinoisproud.com:

Peoria firefighters are calling for the resources cut to the department to be restored.

On Oct. 1, 2020, Peoria Fire Station 4 on SW Jefferson Street was closed due to COVID-19 budget projections, but that decision was reversed about six weeks later.

“So many calls come from that area of town and that’s when we made the decision as an administration that we probably need to reopen station 4,” said Chief Jim Bachman of the Peoria Fire Department.

As Station 4 reopened, Station 8 on West Hurlburt street, along with Engine 2, were put on the chopping block.

Due to cuts made dating back about 18 months, Ryan Brady, the president of Peoria Firefighters Local 50, said the city has lost nine firefighters on the streets.

“Trying to respond to multiple emergencies [while] keeping fire to room of origin honestly has become a daunting task,” Brady said.

Brady is calling on city officials to restore Engine 2, which he said was included in a balanced 2019-2020 budget.

One councilwoman said she agrees that the city should go back and review cuts made to public safety.

The city has earmarked COVID-19 relief funds to address job cuts, but the city council has not decided which areas would be impacted.

“If the end result comes at the loss of a civilian, another civilian, because we’ve had four civilians that have died as a result of fires this year, or even a firefighter, we’re going to have some serious problems,” Brady said.

A new Fire Station 4 is being built on Western Avenue and though the new location will be better to serve the community, they still expect response gaps.

The Peoria Fire Department is on pace to answer 22,000 calls this year, which would be the most in the department’s history.

 

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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from centralillinoisproud.com:

Peoria fire officials are again, asking for public safety resources to be restored after back-to-back weekend house fires where three firefighters were injured, two of which briefly ended up in the hospital.

“There wasn’t a crew on Saturday night, early Sunday morning that works in the city of Peoria that wasn’t involved in these two fires,” Jim Bachman, Peoria fire chief, said. “We used every resource we had and in fact, we called in five extra people.”

Two of the five extra bodies were to replace captains who were burned while battling the fire and had to be taken to the hospital. All of the injured firefighters are home recovering.

Two homes were deemed a total loss and this brought the number of emergency demolitions due to fires this year to about 14 compared to only 10 from last year. The fires are starting to get ahead of firefighters and the reduced staffing makes it harder to get to them in a timely manner.

He recognizes the city’s financial issues, but said having more manpower would help.

“We understand that that’s really difficult this time the way the city’s finances are, but certainly another fire machine could’ve made a difference in putting a quicker stop on this fire,” Bachman said. “We wouldn’t be saying we’d like to see Engine 2 come back just for the sake of saying we’d like to see engine 2 come back.”

Thirty three fire suppression positions have been lost since 2019.

The firefighter’s union wants city leaders to consider allocating some of its Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, from the American Rescue Plan, to the fire department.

CA councilman is advocating for this but said the decision on how to spend the remaining $36.7 million from the fund comes down to the council as a whole.

Back in June, the city manager said the funds can be used to support public health response, to address negative economic impacts, to replace public sector revenue loss, for premium pay for essential workers, for water and sewer infrastructure, and broadband infrastructure.

However, he mentioned it’s not an ongoing stream of revenue and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Council members discussed taking time to figure out the most efficient ways to use the money.

All the funds have to be obligated by until Dec. 31, 2024 and spent by Dec. 31 2026.

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from peoriapublicradio.org:

A South Peoria fire station shuttered by budgetary cuts will reopen, but at the expense of another station that serves the Uplands, the Moss Avenue area, and Bradley University.

Peoria Fire Department Chief Tony Ardis told the city council that the increased response times created by the Oct. 1 closure of Station 4 on SW Jefferson Street were not acceptable, and that their best plan was to reintroduce Engine 4 at Station 4, paired with the transfer of Truck 4 from Station 8 on Hurlburt Street. The reintroduction would be offset by decommissioning Engine 2 that would result in the closure of Station 8.

The fire department reductions became a major issue of contention as the council worked through budget shortfalls created by the COVID-19 pandemic, as District 1 and 2 council members Denise Moore and Chuck Grayeb tried to keep Station 4 operational.

The territory served by Station 8 will be divided among three other houses: Station 4, Station 3 on West Armstrong Avenue, and the Central House on Monroe Street downtown.

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from pjstar.com:

The Peoria City Council approved a settlement with the union that represents the city’s firefighters that will allow one of the fire houses that was to be closed to remain open for six months. The vote was 9-1 and involved Local 50 dropping an unfair labor practice grievance it had filed against the city two years ago in return for the city keeping Station 20 open in far north Peoria. Local 50 had won on the appellate level but agreed to give up the $500,000 judgment it got in return for the firehouse to remain open. That judgment is roughly the cost of keeping a fire house and its accompanying truck open for about six months.

Also part of the settlement was an agreement to have no layoffs through March 30. Earlier this fall, the city shuttered two fire houses as a way to close a budget hole created by the COVID-19 pandemic. City hall would also have to keep 44 union spots for each shift. If that wasn’t possible with the existing personnel, then it would have to be filled through overtime.

The suit stemmed from an agreement made between the firefighters and the city in 2017 in the wake of brownouts that were instituted to help close a budgetary shortfall. Local 50 said the brownouts were an unfair labor practice as the agreement eliminated some unfilled positions in return for keeping the fire apparatus online.

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from pjstar.com:

One of the two shuttered fire houses in the city could come back online until March 2021 under a proposed agreement by the local firefighters union, but whether city hall, which took two engines offline as a way to save money during the pandemic, accepts the deal is unknown.

Peoria Firefighters Union Local 50, said the they would drop an unfair labor practice lawsuit and use the anticipated $500,000 judgment they had won to help replace one fire engine. The deal would also call for the addition of seven firefighter positions which could be staffed through overtime or the hiring of new employees. 

The two sides have been in a series of negotiations since April over how many fire trucks would remain in service. The negotiations kicked into high gear after the council voted in late August to cut the two engines and shutter Stations 4 and 20.

The estimated cost to staff a fire engine is about $1.1 million. The union’s decision to forego the $600,000 is about half that, or six months, which would push a final decision out to March. The deal, however, still has to get council approval, which could come at a special meeting since the budgetary cuts are supposed to take effect on Oct. 1.

It wasn’t clear which engine would come back as part of this deal. Station 4 was to close on Oct. 1, while Station 20 was to close at some time yet to be determined. The union had been bargaining with the city for weeks to save jobs and keep fire houses open. The elimination of a fire truck often results in the closure of a house.

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from peoriapublicradio.org:

An attempt to reverse the planned budget-related cuts of two Peoria Fire Department engines fell short Tuesday night, after the city council unanimously agreed to issue $4 million in working cash bonds to keep the Peoria Civic Center afloat.

A District 2 council member proposed increasing the city’s borrowing to $15 million as a way to save fire department engines 4 and 20, and 22 associated positions. That $15 million figure represented an additional $1 million beyond the $10 million proposed earlier this month and the $4 million for the Civic Center. The proposal contingent on the firefighters’ union agreeing to a $500,000 settlement of a pending unfair labor practices appeal.

After firefighters’ union president Ryan Brady said he would need seven days to hear from his members on the willingness to agree to a settlement, the legality of that contingency raised some question, with one suggesting it might be a quid pro quo. The council eventually consulted with the city attorney in a 30-minute executive session prior to the vote. But those who opposed the plan said the issue already had been decided.

Money to repay the $4 million, 10-year bond for the civic center will come from hotel, restaurant, and amusement tax dollars. The civic center does not have the authority to issue its own bonds.

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