Posts Tagged Springfield Fire Department

New engines for Springfield FD

From the Springfield FD Facebook page: (1/23/19)

Today we ordered two new fire engines to replace two front line apparatus. From drawing to fighting fire is approximately 8 months, we will keep you posted up to delivery. This pumper will be very similar to our newest (engine 4) but will feature an EMS compartment in each side with exterior access to accommodate our ILS equipment.

Mechanical drawing of new Pierce fire engine for the Springfield FD.

thanks Keith

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Springfield aldermen are weighing whether to spend $1.2 million to buy two new fire engines before the next budget year starts in March so the city can get a reduced price. The two engines, and the refurbishment of a third engine for about $227,500, were included in a proposal for the budget that begins March 1. However, Pierce, who sells the engines the city uses will increase the price of the new rigs and the refurbishment after Jan. 31.

By putting the purchase on a fast track, the city can save $73,000, Fire Chief Allen Reyne said. Much of the fire department’s spare fleet is more than 20 years old. The last Springfield engine was purchased four years ago.

The mayor proposed $4.3 million worth of equipment upgrades across the fire, police, and public works departments, all of which would be funded through short-term loans. To pay for the engines up front, the city would float a loan from its general revenue fund until the new budget is approved. Most of the aldermen expressed support for buying the engines early.

Aldermen also forwarded ordinances for final approval to purchase two fire department staff vehicles for a total of $74,000. The money was initially budgeted last year to buy a cardiac monitor for firefighters to use on medical calls. However, Reyne said the department found out the monitor it wanted to buy could not be taken in for repairs at HSHS St. John’s Hospital.

While the department worked on finding a new type of cardiac monitor, the chief proposed switching the funding to staff vehicles, which are similar to what the Springfield police use.  In years past, many of the fire department’s staff vehicles have been sold. The newest vehicle on hand is a 2007 Ford Taurus.

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from the state-journal

In the course of three days, more than 150 firefighters were trained in the new way the Springfield Fire and Police departments are going to handle active shooter and mass casualty events.

Now, instead of waiting to give medical attention to gunshot victims a block away, firefighters will go in with police officers to be able to give immediate care. While other Springfield police officers focus on stopping the shooter, rescue task forces made up of police officers and firefighters would enter warm zones — secured areas with the potential for danger — and focus on the victims.

“Firefighters have been traditionally taught to stand down during an active shooter event, to stage blocks away and to wait until police officers have secured every nook and cranny of the building,” Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne said. “We’ve learned through other people’s tragedies that that isn’t the best practice, that there had been people who had been survivable victims who ultimately bled out waiting for rescuers to enter the building.”

A study conducted in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people died, found that 16 victims might have lived if they had gotten care with 10 minutes and reached a hospital within an hour. A Propublica investigation found that the Orlando Fire Department had a plan in which firefighters would enter warm zones with police and had purchased bulletproof vests, but momentum to enact the plan stalled and training was never implemented.

However, at the request of the chief of the Orange County, Florida, Fire Rescue Department, the National Fire Protection Association created new standards last year to address active shooter incidents, which included rescue task forces entering warm zones.

Other than training, one of the most important pieces of the puzzle — protective equipment for the firefighters — fell into place within the last two months. The Foreign Fire Insurance Board unanimously voted to spend about $15,800 on 20 bulletproof vests and helmets to have on hand in case of an active shooter situation. 

Twenty-two medical kits were purchased through a $9,400 grant provided by Memorial Medical Center Foundation. Instead of the large duffel bags full of equipment firefighters normally carry, the kits can be slung around their waist or chest and contain only the supplies needed to stop life-threatening bleeds.

One of the police training officers reminded firefighters of the need to move fast and use fewer supplies than they would during a normal medical call. In entering a building, the number of casualties are unknown and firefighters can’t leave to resupply. He used the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 as an example. There, the gunman killed 28 people within 10 minutes.

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

The Springfield Fire Department is using the King Airway, making intubation easier on paramedics. Regular intubation can be difficult and if done incorrectly, can hurt the patient. With these new tools, if a person isn’t breathing, the paramedics can simply insert the King Airway tube. The tube also comes with safety measures so a paramedic can’t accidentally go into the esophagus, which can happen with regular intubation.

“It is important to have one on each rig because it gives us another avenue or opportunity to intubate a patient and this is something that anyone one can do,” Springfield Firefighter Beau Friday said. “It doesn’t take any special skills being that it is a blind insertion.”

The Springfield Fire Department said they have King Airways on every rig and everyone in the department knows how to use it.

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Springfield Fire Department Chief Allen Reyne decided to revamp and upgrade their policies. It’s going to cost $30,079 out of their budget, which was approved by the council. Reyne said these revisions will help with risk reduction and liability.

They’re hiring a company that Reyne says has a good reputation of being meticulous and careful to improve policies and procedures.

The policies need to be consistent with state law. Other updates will include adding standards for social media and driving a fire truck. Right now, some of the policies date back to the 90’s.

“So if God forbid we get in a traffic accident,” Reyne said. “It just reduces that risk for the taxpayers in the end.”

About $17,000 of the $30,000 will go to training to all 215 firefighters.

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

There’s a boost in Springfield’s training for responding to an active threat. National standards are changing as the country sees bigger and more horrific incidents across the nation.

The Las Vegas shooting killed 58 people and injured 851. This week, 5 people were shot dead at a Maryland newspaper. Now local law enforcement is teaming up to enhance active threat training.

The fire department is collaborating with police and other emergency departments to refine the response. New national standards from the National Fire Prevention Association call for having a unified command, integrated response, and a planned recovery. Readjusting training is a part of an evolution. Over the many shootings, multiple deaths happen after the incident through blood loss. 

The new concept calls for people in the community to learn first aid, like CPR and how to stop someone’s bleeding. The fire department wants to have blood stop kits in certain buildings across the city.

The departments are also working on upgrading the response to situations at our local schools.

This Rescue Task force effort, of police and fire working together, is sparked by the NFPA. They just released a new roadmap for emergency responders. In it, it reads about how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from an active threat, like an active shooter or stabbing.

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Springfield Fire Department news

Excerpts from

During Fiscal Year 2018, Springfield city employees were paid $6.5 million in overtime pay. That’s an increase of over $1 million from 2017.

Of the FY 2018 overtime, $2.6 million came out of the city’s corporate fund, which is their general fund. The city is currently facing a $2.5 million structural deficit in that corporate fund.

In FY 2018, the Springfield Police Department paid out $1.6 million in overtime. Much of that was budgeted to cover items guaranteed in union contracts. To cut costs, the department is delaying hiring a new class of officers until January.

The Springfield Fire Department paid about $650,000 worth of overtime in FY 2018. Again, union contracts drove much of that. “Most of our overtime line, actually almost half, is really just budgeted holiday pay,” Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne said.

The state taking more tax dollars from the city, rising police and fire pension costs and less sales tax dollars coming in are also contributing to the deficit.

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Springfield Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from

On Tuesday, the Springfield City Council unanimously voted the mayor’s appointment of a new fire chief. Chief Allen Reyne was formally a captain so he jumped several positions. He has been with the department for over 18 years.

Reyne takes the position after former Chief Barry Helmerichs retired earlier in April. His son and wife were a part of his pinning ceremony. He said it was an honor to take the lead of a Class 1 fire station.

thanks Dan

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Springfield Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the State-Journal

Capt. Allen Reyne, a nearly 19-year veteran of the Springfield Fire Department, will be the city’s next fire chief. Reyne, 47, a captain since 2009, will replace Barry Helmerichs, who is retiring April 6.  Starting April 7, Reyne will be acting fire chief until the Springfield City Council can vote on his appointment April 17. His salary has not yet been decided.

Eight candidates within the fire department were interviewed for the position. Reyne, a Springfield resident, was the firefighters’ union president for two years starting in 2012 and has served as its secretary.

Reyne is certified to be a fire investigator at the state and international level, as well as a paramedic. He also holds certifications in hazardous waste operations, fire service management and fire service instruction. Before joining the Springfield Fire Department in 1999, he was a volunteer firefighter for the Godfrey Fire Protection District and a paramedic in St. Louis County and Springfield.

At Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the mayor honored Helmerichs with a proclamation and named that day Fire Chief Barry Helmerichs Day. He listed some of Helmerichs’ accomplishments, including raising the department’s Insurance Services Office rating from Class 3 to Class 1. Helmerichs also emphasized advanced medical training for firefighters and improved response times.

thanks Dan

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Springfield Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the state

With Springfield Fire Chief Barry Helmerichs retiring at the end of the month, the mayor is interviewing Springfield Fire Department members to find a replacement, because of a clause in the firefighters’ contract that stipulates the hire must be internal. The provision is unique to Springfield, though the practice of promoting an internal candidate for chief is not.

“All other persons assigned or appointed to positions in the Departmental structure as outlined in this Section of the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be from within the classified fire service of the City of Springfield, Illinois,” states the contract, referring to the positions of fire chief, division chiefs and deputy division chiefs.

With the exception of six years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the hire-from-within clause has been in the Springfield union’s contract since it began to collectively bargain with the city.

In 1997, then-Mayor Karen Hasara pushed for the requirement to be dropped from the union’s contract. She had recently recruited a police chief from outside of Illinois. Plus, the fire department was split among political factions, and the union had delivered a no-confidence vote against then-Fire Chief Russ Steil. He retired shortly after, and Hasara wanted to conduct a national search to find a replacement that would restore order.

“The community felt strongly about being able to go out and get the very best person,” Hasara said in September 1997. “It very well may be that that person comes from within the Springfield Fire Department, but to limit ourselves to that would be a mistake.”

The union was initially resistant to the change in their contract. Seventeen months after their contract expired, a new one was ushered in, without the clause but with concessions the union backed. The new chief would be chosen with the help of a selection panel, which had representation from the union. The committee reduced a pool of 54 applicants to five finalists, three of which were local.

In the end, Hasara selected James “J.D.” Knox, a 28-year veteran of the Springfield Fire Department and acting fire chief at the time he was chosen. She didn’t look outside the department again, though she hired chiefs after Knox.

The chief selection clause was resurrected in 2003, according to Tom Roate, the secretary-treasurer of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois. Roate was the president of the Springfield firefighters’ union in 2003.

He said Hasara told him she wanted to appoint the acting fire chief Ron Hasara, her ex-husband’s cousin, as the permanent chief without going through the selection committee process or looking at other candidates. Roate said he pushed for the clause, partly because of its historic factor. Springfield had never hired a chief outside of its ranks since a memorandum of agreement between striking firefighters and the city was reached in 1976.

By choosing a chief from the department, everyone wins. The most significant factor, though, Roate said is the incoming chief will have familiarity with the department and Springfield politics and, therefore, can hit the ground running.

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