Piper City firefighters with 150 years of experience to retire
The Piper City Fire Department will be holding an open house on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. to honor four volunteer firefighters, each with decades of experience, who are retiring. The firefighters are John Hoogstraat, Dale Reinagle, Jake Hitchens and Dave Carpenter, who together have given more than 150 years of service to the fire department.
These men have served their community in various capacities in the department. Hoogstraat is a firefighter and first responder with 50 years of service to the Piper City Fire Department. He is, according to Fire Chief Tony Lane, "dedicated, always there to lend a hand. [He] has seen so much and probably some people will not learn as much." He has served the people of the fire district, which encompasses Piper City, Brenton Township and Pella Township for a total of 725 square miles, since 1966. Hitchens, who has 47 years of service, is a man who has worn many hats during his time with the department. He is a firefighter, first responder, EMS coordinator and a former fire chief. Lane said Hitchens is "always there to lend a helping hand ... very intelligent on the medical side of things. He was EMS coordinator. That is a very intense job."
Reinagle, who served for 46 years, is a "master of figuring out mechanical issues" according to Lane.
With 25 years of experience, Carpenter has served his community as a past assistant fire chief, firefighter, first responder and EMT-B. Carpenter started his career with the fire department in 1991.
"Dave was always there," Lane said.
"All four men sacrificed time, family and life to assure the safety of the community."
Kankakee Daily Journal
Union wants laid off Carpentersville firefighters back on job
Carpentersville officials are hitting back at claims made by the firefighters union that the layoffs of two full-time firefighters by the village is "illegal."
Members of the Carpentersville International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4790 had just begun contract negotiations on March 23 with village officials when they were notified of the layoffs, that took effect April 22, said Union president Lt. Rick Nieves in a press release.
The union immediately filed a grievance, contending the layoffs were illegal under the terms of the current contract with the village, Nieves said. Both village and union officials met April 7 but were unable to come to a resolution.
Union members are now asking an arbitrator to step in and restore the firefighters' jobs, with back pay, "as well as any other costs incurred due to the village's illegal actions," Nieves said.
Chicago Tribune - Metered Site
Follow Up: Municipalities, firefighters seek protection from lawsuits
An Illinois Supreme Court ruling has united two groups that often are at odds when it comes to legislation pending at the Statehouse.
The Illinois Municipal League and the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, the state’s largest firefighters union, are backing a bill they say would shield local governments and public safety employees from being sued over the way they prioritize services.
“In these unusual times at the state Capitol, I think this is a good example where divergent interests can come together in support of something that really is common sense,” said Pat Devaney, president of the Associated Fire Fighters. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, would codify the “public duty rule” that the Supreme Court struck down in January. The longstanding rule held that units of government and their employees have a duty to protect the well-being of the community as a whole rather than that of individual people.
The Supreme Court’s decision came in a case involving the 2008 death of Coretta Coleman in unincorporated Will County.
Fire truck, water meters on South Jacksonville trustees minds
A new fire truck and a new water meter system highlighted discussions Thursday night during two South Jacksonville Village Board committee meetings.
Public Protection Committee members talked about options for replacing the village’s 1985 Pierce fire truck.
“We seriously need to look at updating our current fire truck,” Fire Chief David Hickox told the committee. “The one we have will be 31 years old. We have talked about this subject for the past four or five years, and with the increasing number of businesses coming to the village, I feel that we need to update our equipment.”
Hickox presented some options and made some recommendations on how to purchase a new pumper truck, which he said could cost upward of $450,000.
Committee members also discussed and will propose to the board of trustees that the village increase its peddlers’ and solicitors’ permit fee from the current $5 weekly fee to $25 for the first day and $10 for each additional day.