Posts Tagged Peoria Fire Chief Ed Olehy

Peoria Fire Department news

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Peoria Fire Chief Ed Olehy is working to craft policies to cut down on firefighter exposure to carcinogens. Currently, the Peoria Fire Department does not have a procedure to reduce the risk from cancer-causing substances that stick to gear during a working fire. 

The danger is real. Three active-duty members of the fire department have recently died from cancer. Olehy says cleaning off gear requires helping firefighters change old habits and attitudes.  It can be especially challenging to clean off gear with a soap and brush in extreme weather. And with only one set of gear per firefighter, swapping out isn’t an option. 

The Peoria Fire Department recently received a grant for three new extractors that are being installed and they are working to implement standard operating guidelines to reduce the cancer risk for the men and women of the fire department. 

The chief recently received an Executive Fire Officer Degree from the National Fire Academy after defending a paper on this topic to a panel of experts. 

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Peoria Fire Department news (more)

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Fire officials want to clear the air when it comes to speculation on their latest move to bill people for auto accidents. Peoria Fire Chief Ed Olehy says they are not charging people when they respond to fires or emergency services. He is clarifying a recent proposal heading to Peoria City Council Tuesday about billable charges for Peoria and non-Peoria residents. 

“The City of Peoria is not going to bill for any fires at your house,” said Chief Ed Olehy, Peoria Fire Department. “Peoria for years has already been billing outside residents for auto extracations and car fires,” said the chief. “That’s been apart of our services for a long time.”

These billable services are for car accidents like a car fire, which would be about $687/hr. An extraction would be just under $1,500/hr.  All of these services would be billed to your insurance. 

“Insurances already factor this in,” said Chief Olehy. “All of the rates that we’ve chosen … they’re national rates. They’re tried and true and insurance companies are reasonable and customary, all of those things. So, they fit all of the insurance criteria already.”

“People need to understand that they’re paying this in their premiums as it is today, if it’s part of their premium,” said Chief Olehy. “So either the insurance company keeps it, or they pay it back to the fire department through the type of billing. It’s not uncommon to happen.”

The media reached out to the Illinois Insurance Association for their thoughts on the issue. Here’s what Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Illiois Insurance Association said about the billable services: 

“This is nothing more than an attempt by the City of Peoria to charge a hidden tax on everyone who is unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident in Peoria. This has been attempted in other municipalities in Illinois and after careful review of the effect of this ordinance on law abiding citizens it has been soundly rejected.

Also, when this tax has been approved in other states throughout the nation it has been repealed time and time again.

Also, the citizens residing in the Peoria area should NOT be mislead by believing all insurance companies will pay for these costs!  Very few insurance companies will reimburse the policyholder for these expenses, thus they will pay for the costs out of their own pockets. These costs should be paid out of the ever increasing property taxes that people already must pay!!”

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