Posts Tagged Prospect Heights Fire Department

Prospect Heights Fire District news (more)

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Prospect Heights area voters approved a tax hike Tuesday to help fund the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District.  The property tax hike is expected to cost the average taxpayer an extra $34 a year. With all 10 precincts reporting, the unofficial totals showed 1,219 voters said yes to the plan (59.5 percent), and 829 voters said no.

Fire Protection District officials say the increase is necessary to maintain current staffing levels, properly respond to service calls and replace emergency vehicles. Over the past five years, the fire protection district has cut about $500,000 in personnel to balance the budget, including reducing the number of administration positions to two from five.

The district receives about 92 percent of its revenues from property taxes, 7 percent from ambulance transportation fees, and 1 percent from miscellaneous sources.

The fire protection district also plans to replace three aging emergency vehicles over the next three years, including a ladder truck, pumper, and ambulance, as well as complete maintenance on the stations. 

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Prospect Heights Fire District news

Excerpts from the Journal-Topics.com:

The Prospect Heights Fire District has been expected to do more with less for a number of years. A falling property value base caused by the 2008 recession has necessitated the district’s request for a tax hike referendum.

The referendum question reads: “Shall the extension limitation under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District be increased from the lesser of 5% or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index over the prior levy year to 4% for the 2017 levy year? For the 2017 Levy Year the approximate amount of the additional tax extendable against property containing a single family residence and having a fair market value at the time of the referendum of $100,000 is estimated to be $11.49.”

According to Fire Chief Drew Smith’s numbers, with voter approval the average single-family home would pay an additional $34 per year in property taxes to the district. That would generate approximately $155,000. The additional funds would allow fire staffing levels to remain adequate and bolster a capital reserve fund for much needed equipment maintenance.

The fire district is it’s own taxing government separate from the City of Prospect Heights. In 2013, six positions in the department were eliminated through attrition. Spending cuts in 2015 eliminated a part-time position, and since 2017, a full-time deputy chief’s position and a full-time administrative assistant have gone unfilled as well as a part-time records clerk. The chief and a deputy chief are all that remains at the head of the department from 9 to 5 each day.

While expected larger revenue collections have remained nearly flat since 2008, the department has maintained a balanced budget without deficit spending. It continues to balance a small, full-time staff with a larger, part-time staff that does not require pension or benefit obligations. Fire officials have had to get creative with spending on vehicle upgrades, which has saved nearly $400,000 for taxpayers, rather than spending the huge amounts needed for brand new vehicles. Fire board members ruled out selling bonds and taking on new debt last year, so as not to ask more of taxpayers. While it has received $2 million in various grant funds since 2001, those are funds that cannot be counted on every year.

The amount the district can collect in property taxes remains flat, but costs for insurance, maintenance, and fuel continue to rise. Over 90% of the district’s revenue comes from property taxes. All-in-all, Smith says the district could use another $1 million for everything it needs, but asking that much of taxpayers could end up proving fruitless.

In 2017 the fire district responded to the highest number of calls in its history: 2,140. An aging yet growing population and newer, larger homes in the area seem to have stretched the department to its max.

Up until the early 1990s, Prospect Heights’ fire department was mainly all-volunteer. Today, in the middle of a burgeoning region of people and structures, it has morphed into a service that should be more in line with its neighboring departments. The Journal Topics support a properly-funded, reliable fire service in any town, and a yes vote for this referendum. Further cuts could greatly affect the people of Prospect Heights. Approximately $34 more per year, or about $3 per month, is a reasonable request.

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Prospect Heights Fire District news (more)

This from Larry Shapiro:

A few photos from the walk-out ceremony today for Prospect Heights FPD Battalion Chief Robert Pyzyna

Prospect Heights FPD Battalion Chief Robert Pyzyna

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FPD Chief Drew Smith

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FPD Battalion Chief Robert Pyzyna

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FPD Battalion Chief Robert Pyzyna

Larry Shapiro photo

fire chief and son at retirement

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FPD Battalion Chief Robert Pyzyna

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FPD Battalion Chief Robert Pyzyna

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FPD Battalion Chief Robert Pyzyna

Larry Shapiro photo

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Prospect Heights Fire District history

As Prospect Heights puts a new Tanker 9 into service, here are some photos of the previous Tanker 9 when it was first put into service.

Spartan Gladiator S&S pumper tanker with rear steer

Prospect Heights Fire District Tanker 9. 1994 Spartan Gladiator/S&S 1250/3000. Larry Shapiro photo

fire department tanker with rear dump valve

Prospect Heights Fire District Tanker 9. Larry Shapiro photo

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Ambulance remount for Prospect Heights

From the Foster Coach Sales Facebook page:

Brand new Ford E450 chassis under a remounted Medtec conversion

Prospect Heights Fire District ambulance

Prospect Heights ambulance with new Ford E-450 chassis. Foster Coach Sales photo

Prospect Heights Fire District ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

Prospect Heights Fire District ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

Prospect Heights Fire District ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

Prospect Heights Fire District ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

chevron striping on rear of new ambulance

Foster Coach Sales photo

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Prospect Heights Fire District news

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House fire in Prospect Heights, 6-1-17

Prospect Heights firefighters were called to 409 Etowah Avenue Thursday night (6/1/17) at 9PM for a house fire. First arriving units had fire showing from the B-Side of the house and made a quick hit from the exterior. The area is without hydrants and the first-due tanker was out of service. As Prospect Heights Engine 39 laid out 1,500′ of 5″ hose to a nearby school, Long Grove Tanker 55 supplied water to Prospect Heights Engine 9 in front of the house. The alarm was upgraded to a Code 4 for the working fire bringing companies from Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Wheeling, Elk Grove Township, Northbrook, and the Palatine Rural FPD.

 

flames from window of house on fire

Larry Shapiro photo

flames from window of house on fire

Larry Shapiro photo

FF with hose line at house fire

Larry Shapiro photo

Spartan Gladiator Classic Alexis fire engine

Larry Shapiro photo

Long Grove FD Tanker 55

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FPD Battalion 9

Larry Shapiro photo

aftermath of house fire

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FD Engine 9

Larry Shapiro photo

Firefighters prepare PPE before entering house on fire

Larry Shapiro photo

Firefighters after battling a house fire

Larry Shapiro photo

more photos at Shapirophotography.net

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House fire in Lincolnshire, 4-23-17

Firefighters were called to 20530 Williams Avenue in Lincolnshire Sunday morning 4/23/17 for smoke in a house. Companies made quick work of an apparent attic fire. Mutual aid at the scene included Buffalo Grove, Long Grove, Prospect Heights, and Lake Zurich.

Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD fire trucks on scene

Larry Shapiro photo

Long Grove Fire District Firefighters

Larry Shapiro photo

Buffalo Grove FD Engine 26 E-ONE Typhoon

Larry Shapiro photo

Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD fire trucks

Larry Shapiro photo

Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD Firefighters

Larry Shapiro photo

Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD Engine 53 HME RAT

Larry Shapiro photo

Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD in PPE

Larry Shapiro photo

Firefighters decon after a fire

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights FPD Squad 9

Larry Shapiro photo

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Fire in Prospect Heights, 11-28-16

This from Larry Shapiro:

Prospect Heights firefighters were called to 13 Alton Road Monday morning (11/28/16) for a reported garage fire. Battalion 9 arrived with smoke showing from the attached garage of a ranch house and upgraded the alarm to a Code 4 for the working fire. Companies made entry and found the source was debris burning in the garage. After checking for extension, the Code 4 units were subsequently released.

Wheeling FD Engine 23

Larry Shapiro photo

Glenview FD Engine 8

Larry Shapiro photo

Wheeling Fire Chief Keith MacIsaac

Larry Shapiro photo

fire engine and firefighters

Larry Shapiro photo

scene of house fire

Larry Shapiro photo

Prospect Heights Battalion 9

Larry Shapiro photo

Firefighters load hose onto fire engine

Larry Shapiro photo

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Prospect Heights Fire District news

Excerpts from the DailyHeraldnews.com:

Prospect Heights Fire Chief Drew Smith was sworn in last month as the department’s fifth chief in its 72-year history. It came after a 35-year career with the department, including the last 16 as deputy chief.

But, more than the numbers, Smith says the appointment was a dream come true.

He met with Prospect Heights residents for the first time as chief during an open house Saturday and wrote a letter expressing his vision for the department in its latest newsletter.

He dates his experience to freshman year at Prospect High School, when he was a member of Mount Prospect’s civil defense unit as well as a member of a Fire Explorers Post in Des Plaines.

By the time he was a junior, Smith had joined the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 Fire Cadet program, which allowed him and 11 other students to attend school in the morning and spend their afternoons at the Mount Prospect Fire Station for training.

Rather than taking the traditional college path after graduation, Smith went to work as a technician at Northwest Community Hospital and at a private ambulance company before landing a role as a volunteer firefighter in Prospect Heights.

His own story reflects the current trend in fire service. Of the 50 full- and part-time firefighters and paramedics in Prospect Heights, nearly all have college degrees.

Smith worked his way up, from serving as the district’s medical officer to being promoted to lieutenant and, in 1989, to battalion chief. He was among the first full-time staff members hired by the fire protection district in 2000, along with Donald Gould, his predecessor as chief, and Tim Jones, who, like him, was a deputy chief.

As one of two deputy chiefs, Smith’s role was to supervise training as well as the district’s paramedic program.

Ten years ago, Smith’s dedication to fire service — and his community — was recognized when he was inducted into Prospect High School’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. His photo and plaque still hangs on the school’s wall of fame.

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