A shortage of volunteers has overwhelmed the Pembroke Fire Protection District this year, as 12 people continually fight fires in the area. Fortunately, help is on the way.
On Tuesday, the 12-man department learned it received $346,159 in federal funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. It was one of eight Illinois fire departments, including Kankakee, to received federal funding totaling $2.6 million.
Pembroke received two separate grants. A SAFER grant will be used to certify volunteers and add 16 firefighters during the next four years. It also pays for stipends, turnout gear, insurance, health physicals and certificates for higher learning.
Kankakee Daily Journal
The body of Macomb Fire Chief Andy Taylor, 46, was found in a wooded area near Route 67 and University Drive late Thursday afternoon. A preliminary investigation indicates he took his own life. “We’ve lost a dedicated public servant,” said Mayor Mike Inman. “The Taylor family has lost a father, a husband, a brother, and a son.” A pedestrian called 911 after finding Taylor’s body near a path that connects the former movie theater parking lot to a residential area to the north.
Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene. Inman said there is no indication why Taylor took his own life.
Taylor was hired by the Macomb Fire Department in October, 1996. He was appointed chief in August, 2006.
“Andy was the eternal professional, a young man who was dedicated to his job,” said Inman, who worked for Illinois State Police before becoming mayor. “I have good memories of working with Andy. I could always count on Andy. This is just a huge loss.”
WIUM-FM Tri States Public Radio
The Hoopeston Fire Department recently added three new members to its ranks following a change to its age requirement guidelines.
The department changed its age requirements to allow recruits from age 18-35 to join.
Fire Chief Joel Bird said the change was made to bring the department more in line with the standards of other departments while also helping to bring in more younger recruits. "That's what we're hoping," he said. "That there will be more interest from younger people."
Bird said the department currently has 16 active members.
The move seems to have succeed as three new recruits have joined following the change.
Maggie Bartley, Nathan Michael and Geno Wagoner all joined after the new requirements were adopted.
Attica Fountain County Neighbor
The union representing Oak Brook firefighters had its first negotiations session for a new contract with representatives of the village Monday, nearly nine months after the previous deal expired.
Union president Dave Kornfeind, an Oak Brook firefighter/paramedic, said firefighters presented proposals for a new contract, but wouldn't provide details. The next negotiations session is scheduled for Oct. 14.
"We have agreed to not discuss specifics while negotiations are ongoing," Kornfeind said. "There are several economic and several non-economic issues we're negotiating."
Fire Chief Barry Liss said the contract covers all sworn firefighter/paramedics and lieutenant/paramedics, totaling 28 people.
Chicago Tribune - Metered Site
Folks in Marion, and those who travel there, might feel a little safer knowing about a big improvement to public safety.
Thanks to a grant, the Marion Fire Department managed to purchase two custom-made fire engines. But the deal also requires the town to donate an older truck.
Over a year ago, Marion Fire Chief Jerry Odum began looking into purchasing a new engine. Marion bought its last trucks in 1999. Before that, the last trucks were purchased in 1982.
"They take good care of them, keep maintenance up on them very well, so they do, they last us quite awhile," said Chief Odum.
The fire department has four engines and two ladder trucks. Odum said Marion City Council budgeted for one new engine.
But with grant money, he replaced one engine with two new ones.
"They're nice looking trucks. They're a little larger, a little taller. We have more storage space on top," said Odum.
The cost of one engine can break a city budget. Odum hoped for a truck that would meet the departments needs.
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