Posts Tagged Dixmoor dissolves fire department

Dixmoor shuts down their fire department (more)

A historic look at apparatus over the years from the Dixmoor Fire Department.

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Engine 2443, a 1992 Spartan/Luverne 1500/500 formerly from the Chicago Fire Department. It carries CFD shop ID# D-523. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Engine 2433 is a 2003 E-ONE Typhoon 1250/1000. (SN 127675). Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Engine 2453, a 1971 Mack CD 1250/750 formerly from Homewood, Illinois. George Reichardt photo

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Squad 2405. photographer unkown


Dixmoor Fire Department history

Former Dixmoor Engine 4, a 1973 American LaFrance 10000 Series 1250/750 fire engine. (SN C-12-358) photographer unknown

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Dixmoor Squad 1, a 1969 Chevy Step Van. Gary Kadzielewski photo

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Former Dixmoor Engine 2, a 1953 Chevrolet 500/300. photographer unknown

Dixmoor Fire Department history

Former Dixmoor Engine 1, a 1954 Chevy/Central (st Louis) 500/500. photographer unknown

thanks Dennis

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Dixmoor shuts down their fire department (more)

More from Dennis McGuire, Jr. who visited the Dixmoor Fire Department on December 1, 2013 when the department was formally shut down. He submitted a few images from that morning along with a video clip. Dennis also provided a historic overview of their most recent and past apparatus which will follow tomorrow.

Dixmoor Fire Department closes

Past and present members one last time. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Taking down old glory. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Running board with all companies out of service. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

The fire department after being shut down. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Dixmoor fire department shuts down

Closed for business. Dennis McGuire, Jr. photo

Previous posts about this closing can be found HEREHEREHERE, and HERE.

The final video … 20131201_Dixmoor

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Dixmoor shuts down their fire department (more)

ABC7 has an article on the closing of the Dixmoor Fire Department

If a fire breaks out in the Village of Dixmoor, a neighboring suburb will respond. Harvey officials say its fire department will step in after Dixmoor was forced to close its fire department because of financial issues.

Shuttered and dark, the Dixmoor Fire Department is no more. Citing a budget deficit of a more than a million dollars village officials voted to disband the town’s fire department. According to village, the department, which had 20 firefighters, cost the town $773,000 a year.

The union that represents the first responders says the average salary of a Dixmoor firefighter is around $28,000 a year. They were notified in a letter dated last Tuesday of the December 1 dissolution.

Neighboring south suburb Harvey will now provide fire protection for the village and to pay a private ambulance service to provide paramedics.

“I believe this is a good opportunity to share services that benefit both communities in order to provide services efficiently and professionally to the residents of Harvey and Dixmoor,” Harvey’s mayor Eric Kellogg said in a statement.

The small South suburb of Dixmoor has its share of political scandals, which some say have left the town struggling to survive financially because of falling revenue among other things.

Many residents are concerned about the future of their village. The agreement between Harvey and Dixmoor is a three-year agreement, but officials would not say what it is costing Dixmoor, only that it is less than what it would cost to maintain their own fire department.

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Dixmoor shuts down their fire department

The Dixmoor Fire Department was closed down this morning. Previous articles discussed the decision and correspondence.

Dennis McGuire, Jr. was there this morning as the final announcement was made over the speaker, the tanks were drained, and the door was locked. We expect to have images and audio from Dennis tomorrow. has the touching, final salute from MABAS Division 22:

thanks Chris

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Dixmoor to shutdown fire department (more)

The letter informing of the dissolution of the Dixmoor Fire Department

Dixmoor to decommission their fire department

Letter of intent

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Dixmoor to shutdown fire department

The Southtown Star, a Sun-Times publication, is reporting that the village of Dixmoor is closing the Dixmoor Fire Department effective December 1, 2013.

Financially struggling Dixmoor has decided to dissolve its fire department at the end of the month.

In a letter dated Tuesday, the village attorney notified the union representing fire department employees “that this shall serve as notice that the Village will be moving forward with implementing the dissolution of the Fire Department. The final effective date shall be December 1, 2013.”

Earlier this year, newly elected Mayor Dorothy Armstrong said Dixmoor was facing a budget deficit of more than $1 million. Armstrong said it was costing the village $773,000 a year, a third of its revenue, to maintain its fire department, which had 20 firefighters.

I tried to reach Armstrong for comment but was unsuccessful. However, several village employees confirmed that the fire department was being disbanded Dec. 1.

“The new mayor has been trying to do this for three years, going back to the time when she was a trustee,” said Tim McDonald, president of Local 73 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents the employees. “The village board passed a resolution during a special meeting this week to disband the department and didn’t even allow for public comment before the vote was taken.

“When she (Armstrong) called for a vote, trustees asked if they could comment, and the mayor told them they could comment after the roll call. This is a joke, and this is why Dixmoor will always be looked on as a joke by serious people.” McDonald said that even before the village board voted to dissolve the fire department, it had laid off six of the 12 full-time firefighters. The village also employs about a dozen part-timers.

A firefighter who said “we’re not allowed to talk publicly about this” told me that Dixmoor is planning to have the Harvey Fire Department provide fire protection for the village and to pay a private ambulance service to provide paramedics.

“I called the Harvey clerk, and they (city council) don’t even have a meeting scheduled until Dec. 9, so I don’t know what Dixmoor is going to do after Nov. 30, the last effective date our guys will be working,” McDonald said.

Dixmoor is one of the smallest and poorest suburbs in the Chicago area, with a population of 3,644, according to the 2010 census. It showed that the median household income was $38,817 and 35.6 percent of Dixmoor residents live in poverty.

The village has a history of political scandals. For a time, it had a park district police force of more than 100 part-time officers and a full-time police chief — even though the park district owned only one park.

No one mowed the grass at the small park, the cyclone fence was rusting and all the playground equipment was broken or unusable. A bond issue of more than $100,000 had been sold to build a fieldhouse, but no fieldhouse was built.

A former park board president and several other park district officials eventually went to prison for stealing the district funds.

In another scandal, Donald Luster, who was elected mayor in 2001, promising to “Bring the Luster back to Dixmoor,” was sentenced to two years on probation for fraud and failing to file an Illinois income tax return. He had collected unemployment insurance during 1999 while earning more than $9,000 a week.

As recently as last year, former Dixmoor Mayor Keevan Grimmett was accused of living in his village hall office. Grimmett was kicked off the election ballot last spring because the local election board found that he did not live at his registered address.

A year ago, Trustee Michael Smith resigned after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of stealing gasoline from the town.

And in February, news reports revealed that only three of Dixmoor’s five police cars had gas, and the fire chief complained that his staff wasn’t being paid.

The union spokesman told me said Dixmoor firefighters are paid “about $12 to $13 an hour, so they’re by no means highly compensated. They’re basically out there risking their lives for their community for 28 grand a year.”

McDonald told me that Local 73 won a grievance against Dixmoor for back pay for firefighters but had not yet collected.

“We were being nice guys and weren’t asking the village to pay up,” he said. “But we don’t have any reason to play nice any more if they’re going to get rid of the fire department.

“They owe about $12,000 to each fire department employee because they gave raises to the police department and didn’t compensate the fire department personnel.”

McDonald said the Local 73 contract with the village that requires that its members get pay raises if the compensation of any other village workers is increased.

I’m not sure if it makes sense for a small village such as Dixmoor to have a fire department when it’s struggling to survive financially (due to falling revenue, incompetence and graft).

I suggested as much to McDonald, who replied, “The people of the village deserve their own fire department. What’s going to happen to the people in Dixmoor if a neighboring fire department is off fighting a fire in its own area and can’t respond?

“And if this village is struggling financially, where is it going to come up with the money to pay our people the money they are owed? It makes no sense.”

It’s nearly impossible to find a government official in Dixmoor who’s willing to comment about anything on the record. Given the village’s sorry political history and resulting bad publicity, maybe that’s understandable.

But I’ve been warning folks for years that there are a number of south suburbs facing financial collapse. Dixmoor is one of those.

Dissolving the fire department might be the right decision, but I wouldn’t blame the residents if they questioned the credibility of their elected leaders.

As poor as many of the residents are, they still pay taxes for village services.

The fact is, they haven’t had much to show for their money over the years.

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