Posts Tagged Wilmette Fire Chief Jim Dominik

Wilmette to appoint new fire chief

From the Village of Wilmette:

Deputy Chief Mike McGreal has been selected to become the Wilmette Fire Department’s new chief.  McGreal will succeed Chief Jim Dominik, who retires January 2, 2015 after 29 years with the department.

McGreal started his career in Wilmette as a firefighter/paramedic in 1988, was promoted to Lieutenant in 2000, served as Fire Marshall in 2001, and was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2007. McGreal earned the title of Executive Fire Officer in 2013 through the National Fire Academy and Chief Fire Officer in 2014 through the Center for Public Safety Excellence. McGreal holds a Bachelor of Science in Fire Management and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

As Deputy Chief, McGreal has been responsible for managing the daily operations for the fire department’s 50 employees and two fire stations. He has been an integral member of the village’s management team, working closely with Chief Dominik to retain the fire department’s accreditation status and in improving the  ISO insurance rating from a 4 to a 2.

McGreal has served as a site peer assessor for the Center for Fire Accreditation International, as an instructor and Executive Safety Committee member for the Northern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy, Co-chair of the Fire Chief’s Steering Committee for the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency, and Chief Liaison and Team Leader for the MABAS Division 3 Underwater Rescue Team.

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State legislation concerns local municipalities (more)

The Chicago Tribune has more on the controversy surround Illinois House Bill 5485:

For much of the year, three Glenview firefighters work on each engine company — despite a federal standard that calls for at least four, according to Glenview fire Chief Wayne Globerger. Globerger said the village tries to follow suggestions from the National Fire Protection Association, but it also has to watch spending. “In the suburbs, it’s a different story,” he said. “Our fires are fewer and far between, and we have mutual aid. We rely on our neighbors a lot more.”

But Globerger and some other fire chiefs and elected officials in suburbs like Highland Park and Wilmette fear a bill in Springfield could force them to hire more firefighters, resulting in increased property taxes or cuts to other public services.

Supporters of the bill, currently in a Senate committee, that would amend state law to let unions negotiate staffing levels in contract talks say firefighters should have that right, given the often dangerous nature of the job. The bill, they say, will prevent lawsuits.

“As they reduce manpower, my co-workers are put at higher and higher risk,” said Eamon O’Dowd, a Glenview firefighter for 18 years and president of the Glenview Professional Firefighters Association Local 4186.

Under state law, firefighters have collective bargaining rights. When issues of wages, hours or working conditions are unresolved, they can be subject to binding arbitration. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, adds staffing to the list.

“We’ve been able to negotiate manning and arbitrators have had jurisdiction to rule on this for almost three decades,” said Pat Devaney, president of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois and advocate for the bill.

This bill just clarifies that minimum staffing can be negotiated, he said. That explanation hasn’t reassured municipal leaders, who say they should have the final word on keeping residents safe while balancing the local budget.

At a recent Highland Park City Council meeting, Mayor Nancy Rotering asked residents to urge their local senator to oppose the bill.

“If more money has to go to supplying unnecessary labor, or employees, that’s money that’s been removed from our budget for other public safety or public works needs,” Rotering said.

Wilmette fire Chief Jim Dominik said the legislation was unnecessary and contrary to efforts to keep costs low by partnering with other communities. “When you look at a fire department independently, you might say we don’t have enough people,” Dominik said. “But it’s different when you look at how we work with our neighbors.”

Highland Park fire Lt. Steve Horne was one of the first firefighters on the scene of a house fire in December. On that cold morning, firefighters risked their lives rescuing an unconscious man in the basement. “Every day, we work in an environment that could lead to our death,” Horne said. “We should have the ability to say how our job can be done safely.”

thanks Dan

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