Excerpts from the daily-journal.com:

Bradley has a new part-time assistant fire chief and that is just the first step the village hopes to be taking when it comes to transforming the fire department.

On Monday, the administration introduced Don Kaderabek, a 35-year fire veteran, who most recently had been deputy chief of the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District in DuPage County. Kaderabek, 58, began his firefighting career with the Niles Fire Department in 1985 where he served for 28 years. He had short stints with the Riverside Fire Department and the Roselle Fire Department where he served in leadership roles. With Bradley, Kaderabek will earn $40 per hour and is expected to work no more than 30 hours per week. He started with the department on Jan. 6.

Among Kaderabek’s duties will be officer development, strategic planning and cost containment, as well as improving firefighter training, recruitment, and retention.

The Illinois Fire Chief’s Association conducted a review of the department and its needs. The report will be presented to the village board on Feb. 10. This is the first review of the department since 2005, and will likely focus on the department’s need for expansion — most notably adding a second fire station.

The department has two full-time firefighters and two part timers. A department for a town like Bradley should have 10-12 members. At least a portion of the funding for fire expansion could come from an increase in the village’s sales tax rate. A referendum seeking a 1 percentage point hike in the sales tax rate to 7.25 percent is on the March 17 ballot. If approved, the increased tax rate would take effect July 1.

About six months ago, Bradley Mayor Pro Tem Mike Watson said a review from 2005 identified 26 recommendations. Of those 26, he said, 24 were designated as high priority. During the next 14 years, the bulk of the recommendations were not acted upon. The consultant will look at issues such as staffing, station location, equipment, and cooperation with neighboring departments, and dispatch.

The fire chief noted that it’s hard to recruit firefighters in Bradley and surrounding communities, and even harder to keep them because the pay is higher in suburban departments.

thanks Dennis