Posts Tagged Urbana Fire Department

Urbana Fire Department news

Excerpts from the news-gazette.com:

For fire departments, earning a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office is the dream. The inspections are so rigorous that this year, just 305 of the more than 46,000 departments certified by the agency across the country earned that designation.

Only 16 of them are in Illinois — and Champaign County now has two, as the Urbana Fire Department has joined its sister agency across Wright Street in the exclusive Class 1 club.

In calculating its Public Protection Rating, the ISO looks at four factors: the fire department, the needed fire flow — the amount of water an engine needs to put out a fire — water supply and distribution, and emergency communications. So it’s not just the fire department that gets scrutinized but also METCAD and Illinois American Water.

The ISO grades communities on a 100-point scale, and anything above 90 earns a Class 1 rating. Urbana got a 90.92 this year, with the fire department scoring 42.02 out of 50, Illinois American Water scoring 36.65 out of 40 and METCAD scoring 9.55 out of 10.

thanks Martin

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New apparatus orders

  • Urbana FD – Spartan 100′ mid-mount quint platform
  • Normal FD – 2 Spartan Star series pumpers
  • Waukegan FD – Seagrave marauder II pumper

drawing of new Seagrave Marauder II fire engine for Waukegan IL

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Urbana votes to increase ambulance licensing fees

Excerpts from the NewsGazette.com:

The Urbana city council signaled support for a five-figure increase in the ambulance-licensing fee on Monday night.

Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger proposed that the fee for ambulance services to become licensed in Urbana be increased from $500 to $12,000, per company. He said the increase would be to recoup the staff time spent on ambulance services, higher METCAD dispatching fees and the wear-and-tear on facilities to house the ambulances.

At the meeting, the council also passed an ordinance approving changes to ambulance requirements in Urbana to make them more consistent with fire requirements.

Finance Director Elizabeth Hannan said she thinks the city could have a much higher fee than $12,000 based on the ambulance companies’ share of city expenses, but Nightlinger presented a smaller increase.

The only ambulance services licensed in Urbana are the Carle- and Presence-based ambulance services.

“This helps to relay the higher costs (to them),” councilman Charlie Smyth said. The fee would increase from $0.28 per call to a little more than $6 per call, he said.

Councilman Eric Jakobsson pointed out that it’s a relatively small increase in the terms of the number of calls the ambulance companies go on.

“The city has been subsidizing this for years,” Jakobsson said. “Now we’re looking to recapture not all but some of the costs.”

Neither Carle nor Presence spoke at the meeting.

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New engine for the Urbana Fire Department

This from Bill Fricker:
Here’s a few photos of the new Spartan ER pumper in Urbana, IL .   2016 Spartan ER ( 215015-01 )  1,500-gpm/500-gbt  I hope you like the pictures.
All photos by Bill Fricker
Urbana FD Engine 251

Urbana Engine 251 – 2016 Spartan 1500/500 so 215015-01. Bill Fricker photo

Urbana FD Engine 251

Bill Fricker photo

Urbana Fire Department

Bill Fricker photo

Spartan fire truck law tag

Bill Fricker photo

Urbana Fire Department

Bill Fricker photo

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Liability at issue for Fire and EMS response to U of I campus

Excerpts from the News-Gazette.com:

A turf war over which city’s trucks should be first due for fires and medical emergencies in parts of Campustown (UofI) has broken out between leaders in Champaign and Urbana.

Urbana wants to keep things the way they’ve been since 1997, when the two cities and the University of Illinois struck an intergovernmental agreement about who should provide fire service on campus.

Champaign wants the same — only with an interpretation different from the one they’ve been using. When there’s an emergency at one of the 194 private properties currently serviced by the Urbana Fire Department but physically located within the city of Champaign, it wants to get the call from METCAD.

Each city’s fire department responds to university-owned properties with Champaign addresses based on which truck can get there faster. Because Urbana mans the university-built fire station at Gregory Drive and Goodwin Avenue, Urbana’s fire truck is closer to most of the campus buildings and has been first on the run cards.

The setup was first called into question after Gary Ludwig’s 2014 hiring as Champaign fire chief. In examining all aspects of the department, he discovered what he called a potentially big problem — Champaign could be held legally responsible for service it didn’t even provide.

A back-and-forth between the cities’ fire chiefs — then between Champaign City Manager Dorothy David and Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing — led to Friday’s latest twist: Prussing, Urbana City Attorney James Simon and Urbana Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger all sent letters to Champaign leaders disagreeing with their neighbor’s position.

In essence, the letters, stated that the agreement has worked for nearly 18 years, and that Urbana’s fire department can provide better, quicker service to the area.

The issue at the heart of the disagreement is whether the safety of people living in this area will be affected.

Champaign’s Ludwig says there is no real difference in response time, contending that the entire campus area could be serviced by his trucks within 13 seconds of the time it takes Urbana’s to get there. Ludwig also recently commissioned a study from an outside consultant that he says showed Champaign can respond anywhere in this area within the four minutes recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.

“Service will not be compromised at all,” Ludwig said. “If it were, we wouldn’t be doing this.” Nightlinger, who was a UI firefighter before the department disbanded in the late 1990s, disagrees.

In his Friday letter to Ludwig, Urbana’s chief cited examples of faster response times to campus buildings and argued that the difference in response times for some of the affected properties is much greater than 13 seconds.

For example, using METCAD average response time statistics:

— Nightlinger says it takes Urbana 3 minutes, 43 seconds to get to Newman Hall, at the corner of Sixth and Armory streets and it takes Champaign 5 minutes, 34 seconds.

— Nightlinger says it takes Urbana 4 minutes, 6 seconds to get to Illini Tower, at the corner of Fifth and Chalmers and it takes Champaign 6 minutes, 17 seconds.

It should be noted that Urbana and Champaign measure run times differently.  Urbana stops the clock when its first engine arrives at the scene; Champaign’s response time ends when its command unit arrives.

Under the changes proposed by Champaign, the only type of service that would be affected would be for medical calls or small fires. Both cities’ departments would respond to working fire calls because they require four engines.

“We’ve been doing this successfully for 18 years,” he said. “There are some frustrations on our part with how the agreement is now being interpreted.”

Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen said the city has a responsibility to its taxpayers — to provide them with fire service, and to be held accountable for that service. “The Urbana Fire Department does a great job, but they are subject to the Urbana City Council,” Feinen said  “Something that has to be considered in all of this: What is our liability if we allow Urbana Fire to respond and something goes wrong? It seems to me that we have the ultimate liability and responsibility for those properties.”

Urbana has its own liability worries should Champaign’s wishes be enacted. Simon, the city’s attorney, warned that both Urbana and Champaign could face serious legal problems if they’re found to not service citizens as quickly as possible. If changes are made to the agreement, he asked Champaign to not hold Urbana responsible for any future liabilities and damages.

Feinen said she disagrees with Simon’s opinion. Ludwig pointed out that nowhere else in the cities do the departments rely on the closest responder engine principle.

The UI’s take on the debate? In a letter to leaders in both cities, Associate Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo urged them to “provide the best possible service and response times to the location, regardless of the ownership or control of the property.”

thanks Dan

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Urbana engine boasts U of I pride

Dan McInerney was in Urbana and photographed Engine 24. As the home of the University of Illinois, the engine sports the Illini logo prominently on either side of the cab.

 

Urbana Fire Department Pierce Dash engine

Urbana Engine 24 is a 2002 Pierce Dash with a 1,250-GPM pump and a 500-gallon water tank. It carries Pierce job # 13523. Dan McInerney photo

Urbana Fire Department University of Illinois Illini graphics

Engine 24 sports Illini graphics as the engine closest to the University of Illinois campus in Urbana. Dan McInerney photo

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