Archive for April 6th, 2016

Northwest Central Dispatch System receives accreditations

Excerpts from

Northwest Central Dispatch System (NWCDS) earned accreditation as an Emergency Fire Dispatch Center of Excellence and reaccreditation as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED).

They have the distinguished honor of becoming the 31st Emergency Fire Dispatch Accredited Center in the world and the first in the state of Illinois. NWCDS was the first Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence in the state in 2010.

John Ferraro, NWCDS executive director, said the honor of becoming an accredited center is only possible because of the hard work, experience, and professionalism of the telecommunicators.

The IAED is a nonprofit, standard-setting organization promoting safe and effective emergency dispatch services worldwide. Comprised of allied academies for medical, fire, and police, the IAED supports emergency related research, unified protocol application, legislation for emergency call center regulation, and strengthening the emergency dispatch community through education, certification, and accreditation. An Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) is the highest distinction in 911 emergency communications services.

The multijurisdictional 911 center services Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, and Streamwood.

thanks Dan

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2-Alarm fire in Merrillville , IN 4-4-16

Pictures by Nick Sneiderwine of an apartment building fire in Merrillville, IN at 1855 W. 84th Drive on Monday (4/4/16)

apartment building fire in Merrillville IN

Nick Sneiderwine photo

apartment building fire in Merrillville IN

Nick Sneiderwine photo

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Carpentersville Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from

Among ongoing contract negotiations, two Carpentersville firefighters are expected to be laid off later this month and more personnel cuts might be in the offing in other village departments, officials said.

A spokesman for the union representing the village’s 33 full-time firefighters says the administration is compromising fire safety by reducing staffing below optimum levels, which ultimately could increase overtime costs.

“We have put forth a good-faith effort to reduce overtime costs by agreeing to ?exible scheduling to react to manpower shortages, but sadly the village chose to use it ineffectively,” said Rick Nieves, president of the Carpentersville Professional Fire?ghters Union, IAFF Local 4790. “The swing shift, a concept agreed to by the village and union in 2014, in which ?re?ghters were moved from their normal assigned shift to another shift that is short-staffed, was an attempt to decrease costs during a time of need.”

Village Manager Mark Rooney said the swing shift structure did not result in anticipated cost savings of $75,000 yearly, which the village set as a condition for not laying off firemen. Since 2010, Rooney said, the village has eliminated 33 positions bringing staffing down from 207 to 174 full-time employees through reorganization, layoffs, and not filling positions.

He said the fire department largely has been spared losing only one full-time firefighter during that time. The layoffs are necessary to reduce a projected $800,000 budget deficit this year due to increased labor, health care and pension costs.

Other departments could be facing cuts. In May, the village administration will begin negotiations with the union representing 19 civilian employees.

Officials also are trying to reduce costs through attrition. The village hired a civilian employee as police records supervisor — a position previously filled by a police commander who has left the department. The commander’s salary was roughly $115,000 plus benefits, while the civilian employee will make $80,000 with no benefits, Rooney said.

Last year, officials were projecting a $500,000 deficit, yet closed out the year in the black. If sales tax revenues and state funding come through better than anticipated, that deficit could be much smaller, Rooney said.

Nieves said the village shouldn’t be laying off firefighters when other employees, including Rooney, are getting raises. Rooney last year received a 5.5 percent pay hike raising his salary to roughly $167,000 as of Jan. 1, 2015.

Nieves cited a recent consolidation study, paid for in part by the village, showing a need for having four ?re?ghters in each of the three Carpentersville stations. Station 91, located at 213 Spring St., covering the “Old Town” section of town, often maintains only three ?re?ghters to run an ambulance, an engine, and a truck, he said.

Rooney maintains the cuts will not affect public safety, and any shortfalls will be made up from among nine part-timers. “Essentially, it is a minority of days or nights that we do not have four firefighter/paramedics in each station,” he added.

Both sides return to the negotiating table April 20 in an attempt to stave off layoffs, which take effect April 22, and ink another deal before the current contract expires by month end.

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New fire chief in Geneva

Excerpts from the

Aldermen on Monday unanimously approved the appointment of Michael Antenore, a 20-year veteran firefighter, as Geneva’s next fire chief after the retirement of Fire Chief Steve Olson.

Olson will retire June 30, and Antenore, a paid-on-call firefighter, will begin his new duties Aug. 8. Antenore currently is director of marketing for Nalco, an Ecolab Co., in Naperville. Deputy Fire Chief Mark Einwich will manage the department on an interim basis.

“I started when I was 34 years old, working with a bunch of 18-year-olds,” Antenore said. “I tried not to get killed. I spent 33 years at my other employment. I have to make a phone call tonight. It’s bittersweet.”

Antenore has been a member of the fire department’s hazardous materials team and the public information officer, leading the 2015-20 strategic planning process and being active in public outreach programs.

Antenore began as a paid-on-call firefighter in 1996, working his way up to lieutenant/emergency medical technician in 2005.

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