Posts Tagged Fire Chief Paul Bradley

Gary Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The Gary Fire Department plans to add five new engines to its fleet and could also start construction on a new fire station this year.

The city council has approved a resolution calling for the appropriation of $2.3 million for the lease/purchase of the engines.

The fire department currently has seven engines that are between 17 and 26 years old and in disrepair, while another three are relatively new. According to Fire Chief Paul Bradley, five of the older fire engines will be replaced with the new engines.

His goal is to have 10 fire engines in operation in the city once all the new engines have been delivered and some new firefighters are added to the department.

The trucks will be located throughout the city. Depending on how the bidding process goes, the first one or two trucks could be delivered in June with the rest delivered by the end of the year.

The new fire engines are expected to be paid for over the next seven years through a lease-purchase program. The money would come from fees collected through ambulance runs. Bradley said last year the city hired a new company that was doing a better job of collecting the fees. Some of the money was used to purchase new ambulances last year.

In addition, the city last year received a $758,044 grant for the purchase of 133 self-contained breathing apparatus devices, which supply oxygen to firefighters when they are battling fires.

Bradley also hopes the fire department can start this year on construction of a new fire station at 4900 Pennsylvania St. to house firefighters who currently are housed at the Calumet Township Multipurpose Center, 1900 W. 41st Ave.

The chief hopes the new Fire Station 5 can be completed next year. The last new fire house in the city was built in the 1990s.

The fire department is also in the process of hiring new firefighters. There are currently 182 firefighters in the city and Bradley said he would like to have a force of 200.

thanks Dan

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Gary Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The Gary Fire Department will be able to purchase five new fire trucks, following the approval Tuesday by the Common Council.

Fire Chief Paul Bradley told council members the $2.3 million purchase is essential because the typical life of a vehicle is 20 years, and the department currently has seven trucks that are between 17 and 26 years old.

Bradley told the council there also are problems with some of the existing vehicles that they don’t fit properly into the fire stations, adding the issue will not be a problem with the new vehicles.

“We need to replace the apparatus we’re using now,” Bradley said, adding that the old vehicles will continue to be put to use by the department after being moved to the department’s training center on 35th Avenue.

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Gary Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Millions of dollars worth of improvements may be made at the Gary Fire Department over the next year. They recently bought some new ambulances and officials hope over the next year to add several new engines and an aerial ladder to the inventory, according to Fire Chief Paul Bradley.

The department recently received a $758,044 grant that will be used to buy 133 self-contained breathing apparatus devices.

The money came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance of Firefighters Grant program. Bradley said the city is also seeking another grant from that program to buy a new ladder truck, which can cost between $700,000 and $1 million. The department currently has three trucks in service while one is being overhauled.

Equipment and personnel shortages have been an issue for some time, but things seem to be improving, according to some observers.

In December 2010, under the administration of former Mayor Rudy Clay, 35 positions were eliminated in the fire department, which went from 236 to 201 firefighters. Firefighters joined police officers in 2014 and again early last year in picketing over inadequate equipment and salaries, which was said to be responsible for personnel leaving for other departments that paid more money.

The city now has 187 firefighters, but raises were approved last year and Firefighter Adam Friday, vice president of Gary Firefighters Association Local 359, believes things are improving. In addition to raises that are expected to eventually increase annual salaries by $10,000, Friday said equipment has gotten a lot better.

When Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson came into office “there were some large gaps with equipment. They (the firefighters) were grossly underpaid. So every year we’ve worked with the chiefs to find more dollars. But they have also been very active in finding dollars for themselves,” she said.

For instance, a new company is doing a better job now of collecting fees for ambulance service. The money collected is being used to help get new ambulances.

One of the issues still remaining, according to Friday, is a new fire station to permanently house Station 5 firefighters, who have been working out of temporary quarters for the last several years. Bradley said the city has been approved for federal assistance for a new fire station that will be located in the 4900 block of Pennsylvania Street and he hopes to break ground this year. Bradley also said he has improved furnishing at the stations.

Friday said another issue the union and administration are working on has to do with obtaining additional personal protective equipment and additional cleaners for that gear. The equipment helps protect firefighters against hazardous chemical.

Freeman-Wilson also is working with department heads, union officials, and the council to create public safety positions. These employees would be trained to perform both police and firefighting duties to some degree. Bradley and Freeman-Wilson said it will be up to employees to decide whether they want to apply for these positions. Bradley said some firefighters have expressed interest in the positions. In addition to paying a higher salary, Bradley said employees might be attracted to the position because of the opportunity to learn new skills.

thanks Dennis

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