Excerpts from centralillinoisproud.com:

As Peoria city council budget discussions continue, council members are looking at details regarding the $321 million budget.

The topics of discussion for council members at Tuesday’s meeting included rescue squads for the Peoria Fire Department. Budget reductions in recent years have impacted the city’s fire department with the decommissioning of Rescue 1 and Rescue 2 in 2018. Those responsibilities have been repurposed. The rescue squad is currently a jump company.

In 2023, that squad has been called upon around 600 times. It will cost $1.2 million to reinstate the rescue squad.

One council member pushed back a bit on the proposal to reinstate the squads. He believes the city is in a good financial position, and funding rescue squads and other projects could cause problems further down the road. He was the only council member who voted no. His reasoning stemmed from wanting to fully staff the rescue squad rather than making firefighters work overtime. He cited mental health issues like PTSD as a potential ramification.