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Thursday, September 3, 2015
Emanuel set to call for largest property tax hike in modern Chicago history    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to call for the largest property tax increase in modern Chicago history to raise enough money to make a major pension payment for police and firefighters next year, the mayor's City Council floor leader and a City Hall source told the Chicago Tribune late Wednesday. The mayor also plans to push a new garbage collection tax, a new per-ride fee on taxis and ride-hailing services such as Uber and a new tax on electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Ald. Patrick O'Connor, 40th, said the idea is to cut down on the annual budget hole that has plagued the city budget for years and further scale back some of the poor financial practices. That includes scoop-and-toss borrowing, in which the city takes debt that's coming due and kicks it out into the future at a higher cost. The administration also wants to put the police and fire pension systems on a road to solvency, he added. The mayor is considering a property tax hike of between $450 million and $550 million for police and fire pensions, but he has yet to settle on a final number, a City Hall source said. O'Connor put the figure at $450 million for police and fire pensions, plus another $50 million for a Chicago Public Schools construction program. Aldermen would authorize the CPS property tax increase, and the Chicago Board of Education would approve it. Chicagoans also would be set to join the residents of many suburbs in paying a garbage hauling fee. O'Connor put the garbage tax at $10 to $12 a month for single-family homes and two-flats. The veteran alderman said the tax would not cover the entire cost of garbage pickup, but would put a pretty good dent in it.
Chicago Tribune

Rep. Rodney Davis Announces Taylorville Fire Department Awarded Federal Fire Grant    view comments tweat me share on facebook
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today announced that the Taylorville Fire Department has been awarded a grant for operations and safety from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. “Firefighter grants from the Dept. of Homeland Security are highly sought after and therefore highly competitive,” said Davis. “Congratulations to the Taylorville Fire Department for winning this grant, an important step to ensuring and up-to-date training for our first responders.” The grant, from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, is in the amount of $5,455 and will be used to pay instructor fees for training fire departments throughout Christian County. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an important component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards. Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $5.6 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.
WRSP/WCCU-TV My Fox Illinois

Man left homeless, dog killed in Cahokia house fire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The home that had been in a Cahokia man’s family since 1968 was destroyed by a fire Wednesday night. Joe Barnhart said he returned from work to the home that he’s lived in off and on for decades shortly before 6:30 p.m. to see smoke coming from the eaves. When he opened the back door, he saw the inside of the home engulfed. “I went inside to try to get my medicine and my dog, but I had to come out,” Barnhart said. The dog died in the fire. Cahokia Fire Chief Stephen Robbins said firefighters arrived to find heavy fire and smoke coming out of the windows and door in the front of the home. Even though the kitchen and living room of the home were ablaze, firefighters were able to douse the flames in an interior attack. Robbins said firefighters had the blaze under control in 20 minutes but summoned mutual aid from Camp Jackson, Dupo and Prairie Du Pont firefighters. No one was reported injured in the fire. Barnhart said he’d just gotten the home back under his name “a couple months ago.” Neither Barnhart nor Robbins knew how the fire started. Robbins said investigators from the state fire marshal’s office would assist in the investigation. Red Cross representatives also had been contacted to assist Barnhart.
Belleville News-Democrat

Hinsdale Firefighters Slash Cars in Extrication Exercises    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Western Springs, Clarendon Hills and Hinsdale Fire Departments trained together over the weekend on how to successfully manage and overcome the challenges of complex vehicle crashes. The training took place at the Hinsdale Public Works facility, which is located behind the Youth Center and Humane Society on Symonds Drive. The scene looked like a Hollywood action movie set, with vehicles piled on top of each in simulated challenges that were based on actual emergency events. Despite the constant rain and humidity, the training, which started at 8 a.m. on Saturday and ended around 4 p.m. later that afternoon, was a huge success. Nearly 30 firefighters from the three departments participated in the training, most of whom did so on their own time to gain valuable experience in handling extremely complex situations. On average, the Hinsdale Fire Department responds to nearly 300 road accidents throughout the year. This includes incidents on a three mile stretch of Interstate 294, Illinois Route 34 (Ogden Avenue), Illinois Route 83 and 55th Street in Hinsdale.
Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
East Peoria Welcomes New Fire Chief   view comments tweat me share on facebook
East Peoria swears in its new fire chief today: former Lieutenant Alan Servis. Friends, family and firefighters were there as Servis took the role as chief. He has been with the East Peoria Fire Department for 23 years and says he has seen a lot of changes over the years, but has some more changes for his fire fighters and paramedics. “We're going to try and up our training budget, get a little more training for the gentlemen. Focus on getting our youngest paramedics up to speed where we think they need to be. Work on officer training. We really need to get a little bit more leadership training for us," Servis said. To replace Servis' position as lieutenant, the city promoted firefighter Veronica Marmitt making her the first woman in the East Peoria Fire Department's history to hold the rank of lieutenant.
WMBD-TV Peoria

Countryside fire draws engines from six departments   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Firefighters were battling a blaze Tuesday afternoon at an automotive company on Joliet Road in Countryside. The Pleasantview Fire Protection District responded to the call at Chariot Automotive and Towing, 6402 Joliet Road. Firefighters quit pouring water onto the building at about 3:45 p.m. and had entered the building, battling the remaining fire from within. "It appears to have started in the mechanics' shop," while people were in the building, said Pleasantview Fire Chief John Buckley. He did not know what caused the fire to start. The fire started about 3 p.m. and flames were coming out of the building when firefighters arrived. "It did get in the roof area," Buckley said. "There was a lot of fire." A firefighter said a car in the garage was on fire. Buckley said workers from Chariot advised the firefighters of the hazards in the building, which include acetylene torches, propane and gasoline.
Chicago Tribune

Waterman fire district receives $10,000 grant   view comments tweat me share on facebook
On a mission to save lives, reduce injuries and protect property, volunteers at the Waterman Community Fire Protection District work tirelessly to serve the safety needs of Waterman residents. To help with this mission, employees from Monsanto’s Waterman production site selected the WCFPD to receive a $10,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund’s 2015 site grant initiative. Representatives from the organization and the fund celebrated the grant with a check presentation July 30. Funds from the grant will be used to purchase a self-contained breathing apparatus, or SCBA, for the front line trucks. The SCBA will allow volunteers to breathe easy in smoky or contaminated breathing environments. “Our current SCBAs are outdated,” Fire Captain David Oest said in a news release. “With new technology in the face masks, we will be better equipped to aid our personnel in fire conditions.” The WCFPD and Waterman site have worked together for the past eight years. The WCFPD has received other grants for air bags that lift heavy equipment and stabilize vehicles in crash situations and a multipurpose tool that helps extricate people from their cars in the case of a vehicle collision. “I am very excited that the Waterman Fire Department is receiving this grant because its volunteers go above and beyond to ensure the safety of everyone in the community,” Troy Dukes, site lead, said in the release. “It’s a great feeling to be able to give back to them for all the support they provide to Waterman and the surrounding areas.”
Valley Free Press

Car Crashes, Catches Fire on 11th Street Near Springfield   view comments tweat me share on facebook
State Police are continuing to investigate why a suspect who ran from them Tuesday afternoon. It happened this just south of Springfield, off of Toronto Road. The chase started Tuesday afternoon around 4:30 and ended near the University of Illinois Springfield off 11th Street. State police say the suspect was trying to get away from authorities when he ditched his car in a cornfield, and took off on foot. Sangamon County Sheriff's Deputies assisted State Police on scene with the help of search dogs to track down the suspect. The Springfield Fire Department was also called in after the car caught fire. State police tell us the suspect was captured later in the afternoon and he is in jail. State police tell us the investigation into the incident continues and they hope to release more information Wednesday.
WRSP/WCCU-TV My Fox Illinois

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