WREX TV in Rockford has an article about the Rockford Airport board outsourcing the jobs of firefighters instead of renewing a contract with the City of Rockford Fire Department.

Chicago-Rockford International Airport board members vote unanimously to outsource on-field fire protection at RFD.

“I think the City got a little greedy perhaps about what they were charging us.” -says airport Executive Director Mike Dunn.

The city’s charge was about $1.2 million a year. RFD’s total budget for the year is $8 million. The company airport administrators picked is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin and should cost RFD around $600,000 a year. The airport’s executive director says service and safety won’t suffer.

“We own the building. We own the trucks. We own the equipment that firefighters use. We paid for the education. All the city was providing us was the manpower.” -Dunn explains.

Rockford Fire Department Fire Chief Derek Bergsten says, “It would have been nice to kind of sit down, have those discussions, find out what the issue was, if there was something we could do to remedy it. As firefighters it’s our instinct to try and solve problems, work out solutions, so, that’s probably the only part on my side that I would have liked to have the opportunity for that.”

Chief Bergsten says he learned less than two days ago the airport planned to terminate its contract with the city.


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