Posts Tagged Peoria FIre Department

Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from Peoriapublicradio.com:

The Peoria Fire Department is honoring the 25th anniversary of a life-saving moment by calling for more people to learn CPR.

In 1994, then 17-year-old Nick Knapp was playing basketball at Woodruff High School when his heart suddenly stopped. Fortunately, off-duty fire captain Byron Yang was at the gym and immediately began performing CPR. Nick not only survived, but stayed completely neurologically intact. He went on to become the first basketball player to ever play Division 1 college basketball with an implantable defibrillator. His message is simple:

“Get out there and learn CPR,” he said. “It’s a very simple thing to learn, but it can all the difference for someone if you’re in the right situation at the right time. It can give someone, like me, a second chance at life.” Advances in resuscitation technology, like automatic defibrillators, mean more people survive incidents like his.

The Peoria Fire Department has since maintained a strong track record.

“Peoria firefighter paramedics, along with our AMT paramedics, were able to get a return of spontaneous circulation 32.6 percent of the time,” said Assistant Chief Tony Ardis, referencing data from last year. “That’s a fancy way of saying they were able to get a pulse back. The national average is 11 percent.”

But bystander CPR was performed in fewer than 16 percent of cardiac arrests. Learning compression CPR can have a huge effect on the likelihood of survival. Eighty percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home and it’s important to be able to take action while waiting for first responders emergency medical services.

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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from peoriapublicradio.org:

The Illinois Labor Relations Board has upheld a summary ruling against the city of Peoria earlier this year which restricts the brownout of fire department engines. In February 2019, an administrative law judge summarily ruled in favor of International Association of Firefighters Local 50 after the city failed to respond to an unfair labor practice complaint filed by the union.

The union said the city refused to provide a signed copy of a memorandum of understanding it was using to justify the brownout policy, which took apparatus out of service on certain days in a cost-cutting measure. The union said it had made other consessions with the understanding all companies would remain in service.

The city claimed the decision was issued by the judge without notice or participation by the city, and said the substantial cost to taxpayers imposed by suspending the brownouts was prejudicial. It requested a variance.

But earlier this month, the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) disagreed. The board provided a timeline of the the communications between the ILRB and the city of Peoria, saying the city had multiple opportunities to respond and take part in the investigation of the allegations, but failed to do so.

The city said the initial notice was mailed to the wrong address, and claimed it was likely mailed to the wrong address again when re-mailed in January 2019. The city did not respond to an order to show cause it didn’t receive the second mailed notice, and it did not comment on whether or not it received e-mailed notices, the ILRB found.

Indeed, the city’s lack of activity in the investigation of the charge, a charge which the city clearly had notice of, belies its contention that allowing the default to stand would come at a substantial cost to taxpayers. If this case was so significant to the city and its residents, it stands to reason that the city would have been more vigilant during the investigation and in responding to communications from the Board. – ILRB ruling

The ILRB upheld the judge’s order to revert to the pre-brownout status quo, reimburse impacted employees with back pay, and head back to the bargaining table. The city can now take the case to an appellate court, if it so chooses.

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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from peoriapublicradio.org:

Peoria Fire Chief Ed Olehy is working to craft policies to cut down on firefighter exposure to carcinogens. Currently, the Peoria Fire Department does not have a procedure to reduce the risk from cancer-causing substances that stick to gear during a working fire. 

The danger is real. Three active-duty members of the fire department have recently died from cancer. Olehy says cleaning off gear requires helping firefighters change old habits and attitudes.  It can be especially challenging to clean off gear with a soap and brush in extreme weather. And with only one set of gear per firefighter, swapping out isn’t an option. 

The Peoria Fire Department recently received a grant for three new extractors that are being installed and they are working to implement standard operating guidelines to reduce the cancer risk for the men and women of the fire department. 

The chief recently received an Executive Fire Officer Degree from the National Fire Academy after defending a paper on this topic to a panel of experts. 

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Peoria Fire Department news more

Excerpts from pjstar:.com

A clerical error could cost the city of Peoria upwards of $500,000 after an administrative law judge recommended nearly a dozen firefighters be reinstated and the two rescue trucks taken off line last year be reinstated.

And while those changes would be substantial, neither Peoria Firefighters Union Local 50 nor city hall believe the recommendation, handed down in late February, is the final say on the matter. In fact, the Peoria city attorney says the reasoning behind the decision was a clerical error — the city never responded to the unfair labor practice accusations from the union that sparked the case because the complaint and other documents were sent to an attorney’s old place of employment.

But, on the surface, the Feb. 27 ruling seems to be a total win for the union as it orders the city to:

– restore the staffing levels of the Peoria Fire Department to levels it was before May 21, 2018, when a series of brown-outs were instated to help with budgetary issues.

– compensate those who lost income by offering back pay to those who were eligible to work on the rescue squads.

– resume bargaining with the local over staffing and work conditions.

The city will, in essence, appeal and tell the state Labor Relations Board what it thinks the hearing officer got wrong. The ILRB will likely hear the case sometime later this year.

The union filed its complaint last summer in the wake of brown-outs that were ordered by city hall to help close a budgetary shortfall. Local 50 cried foul and said the brown-outs were an unfair labor practice in the wake of an agreement they had reached in late 2017 that eliminated some unfilled positions in return for keeping the fire apparatus online.

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from centralillinoisproud.com:

Fire officials want to clear the air when it comes to speculation on their latest move to bill people for auto accidents. Peoria Fire Chief Ed Olehy says they are not charging people when they respond to fires or emergency services. He is clarifying a recent proposal heading to Peoria City Council Tuesday about billable charges for Peoria and non-Peoria residents. 

“The City of Peoria is not going to bill for any fires at your house,” said Chief Ed Olehy, Peoria Fire Department. “Peoria for years has already been billing outside residents for auto extracations and car fires,” said the chief. “That’s been apart of our services for a long time.”

These billable services are for car accidents like a car fire, which would be about $687/hr. An extraction would be just under $1,500/hr.  All of these services would be billed to your insurance. 

“Insurances already factor this in,” said Chief Olehy. “All of the rates that we’ve chosen … they’re national rates. They’re tried and true and insurance companies are reasonable and customary, all of those things. So, they fit all of the insurance criteria already.”

“People need to understand that they’re paying this in their premiums as it is today, if it’s part of their premium,” said Chief Olehy. “So either the insurance company keeps it, or they pay it back to the fire department through the type of billing. It’s not uncommon to happen.”

The media reached out to the Illinois Insurance Association for their thoughts on the issue. Here’s what Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Illiois Insurance Association said about the billable services: 

“This is nothing more than an attempt by the City of Peoria to charge a hidden tax on everyone who is unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident in Peoria. This has been attempted in other municipalities in Illinois and after careful review of the effect of this ordinance on law abiding citizens it has been soundly rejected.

Also, when this tax has been approved in other states throughout the nation it has been repealed time and time again.

Also, the citizens residing in the Peoria area should NOT be mislead by believing all insurance companies will pay for these costs!  Very few insurance companies will reimburse the policyholder for these expenses, thus they will pay for the costs out of their own pockets. These costs should be paid out of the ever increasing property taxes that people already must pay!!”

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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from centralillinoisproud.com:

A proposal will be discussed at Tuesday’s Peoria City Council meeting to charge mitigation rates for services from the Peoria Fire Department.

The city manager and fire chief said the department could generate $200,000 annually through these charges for fire responses, hazmat situations, fire investigations, water, and motor vehicle accidents.  The proposal explains that the department incurs high costs in its efforts to save lives and property, adding that the number of incidents firefighters respond to continues to rise every year. If approved, the fire department would send a bill to the homeowner’s insurance company.  If a non-resident is involved, they would be responsible for 100% of the bill. A basic response to a motor vehicle accident would run $494. Gasoline and other auotomotive liquid cleanup would raise that fee to $562, and a car fire would go up to $687.

City leaders said it would be unfair to raise property taxes to meet the increase in demand because not all residents call the fire department.

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Peoria Fire Department news more

Excerpts from centralillinoispproud.com:

With the start of the new year, Peoria’s city budget cuts go into effect and the Peoria Fire Department is closing Rescue 1 and 2. 

It wasn’t too long ago, we were talking about brown outs, essentially where several local fire stations were closed for a temporary amount of time.  Now, we’re talking permanent closures of two rescue trucks.

The city decided on the cuts late last year after council worked to combat a $6 million budget deficit. 

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from centralillinoisproud,com:

Tuesday night Peoria city leaders approved a new proposal that does make cuts to the fire department, but not the cuts some feared. Previously it was a possibility that 22 firefighters could be laid off, but a new proposal wouldn’t require any layoffs. 

Firefighters retiring will not be replaced, but the plan will avoid having to layoff any firefighters. Two rescue squads are being taken out of service. Equipment from the rescue squads will not be transferred to fire trucks. 

The city agreed on moving around TIF dollars and shutting down the Northside Riverfront TIF. Another change was the logistics of the Public Safety Pension Fee. The new proposed structure of the fee will be the following:

  • $15 for parcels with no structure erected on the property.
  • $50 for parcels 5,000 square feet or smaller.
  • $250 for parcels over 5,000 square feet but less than 10,000
  • $300 for parcel over 10,000 square feet

For the next 5 years this parcel fee will increase yearly $5 dollars for the property owners paying $50, and increase $50 per year for those paying $250. 

While this will help the budget, there are still a number of other avenues the council must vote on before the entire $6 million-dollar gap is full.

 

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the pjstar.com:

The Peoria City Council voted 8-3 Tuesday to approve eliminating 22 firefighter and 16 police positions as part of a move to close a $6 million budget hole. Additionally, reductions were made in the city’s community development department. For weeks, council members have been struggling with ways to close the shortfall in the 2019 budget that has to be approved by the end of December. The personnel cuts would result in a $3 million savings. Additional revenue sources will need to be approved in the next few weeks.

The cuts don’t mean 22 firefighters will be laid off but vacancies that are currently open will not be filled within the departments. The actual number could vary depending on how many employees elect to take advantage of retirement incentives for those with 20 years of service or more.

While not taking any direct action on implementing new revenue streams for the city, council members approved the first reading of a public safety pension fee by a 9-2 vote. That fee, if formally approved, would impose a $50 fee on every parcel of land in Peoria with a structure. Parcels over 5,000 square feet would pay $300 annually. The money from the fee would not go into the general fund but go directly toward paying off pension payments for the city’s fire and police employees.

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Peoria Fire Department news

Excerpts from the pjstar.com:

After many comments, complaints, and dire warnings, members of the Peoria City Council voted 7-4 in a non-binding, advisory vote that approved the cuts to the police and fire departments as city hall tries to claw its way out of a $6 million budget shortfall.

During the four plus hour-long special meeting, council members spent hours discussing and debating ways to plug holes without crippling day to day operations. Cutting 22 firefighter positions and taking $1.1 million out of the police budget would have a definite impact, said the chiefs of both departments.

Fire Chief Ed Olehy said that adjustments that have been proposed would place Peoria’s fire department at its lowest staff in 30 years and mean longer response times for citizens in the southern valley, downtown, and the Bradley University area. He said that computer studies indicate a two-minute difference in travel time without Engine 2. Fire safety and educational programs will be reduced and insurance costs are likely to increase if the cuts are approved.

Interim Police Chief Loren Marion III said a police force that currently has 212 employees would have 205 at the end of the year. Fewer tickets will be issued, fewer seizures of drugs and contraband, and a longer wait for officers to reach an accident site would result.

That 7-4 vote wasn’t the final vote and there are several hours of discussion and debate left before the final vote occurs later this year. Still, the vote did signal where some stood.

Revenue recommendations that were previously approved in an advisory vote included a public safety pension fee that would place a $50 fee on property owners of under 5,000 square feet and $300 for properties of over 5,000 square feet. That measure, if formally approved, would raise an estimated $2.2 million. A 2 percent package liquor tax would raise $700,000 and EMS billing by the fire department would raise an estimated $200,000.

The city manager said that the city has been cutting other departments in recent years and sparing public safety positions. “We can no longer afford to do that. Public safety costs (police and fire pensions) are growing faster than anything else in the budget,” he said.

thanks Dennis

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