Service Cuts Q&A

Carpentersville IAFF Local 4790.



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Service Cuts Q&A

Q: Why is the firefighters association concerned regarding the staffing reductions currently being implemented by the Village of Carpentersville?

A: The firefighters association believes our sworn oath to protect the citizens from fires, natural disasters and emergency medical responses goes beyond handing calls alone. The new staffing plan put into effect on October 19th puts the population at risk with a significant chance of increased emergency response times. This means when you call 9-1-1 you may encounter a delay in service. The previous response time as of January 1st 2013 was less than 4 minutes 94% of the time.

Q: When did the village implement the new changes?

A: The firefighters association was notified on September 25th 2013. Upon hearing the news the firefighters advised the village to reconsider due to the increase in response times, lack of personnel and available resources available to respond. Attempts to speak with all levels of management including trustees has failed. The Village Manager insists on implementing this new plan.

Q: How many calls per year does the fire department respond to, and how many stations are there in Carpentersville?

A: The fire department in 2012 responded to 3,431 calls out of 3 fire stations. Of those calls 2,550 were requests for medical help while the other 881 were fire responses. Our community was responded to requests to help other towns 332 times. Structure fire responses accounted for 37 of those total calls. The value of property lost to fire last year was $356,520.

  • Station 1- 213 N. Spring street ◦14.16% of calls in 2012 were in Station #1’s response district
  • Station 2- 305 Lake Marian Road ◦58.9% of calls in 2012 were in Station #2’s response district
  • Station 3- 5000 Sleepy Hollow Road ◦17.54% of calls in 2012 were in Station #3’s response district ◦9.38% of calls in 2012 were outside the Department’s response area (mutual aid given to other towns)
  • Q: What service levels are being cut?

    A: Prior to the changes in staffing each fire station in Carpentersville was able to respond with both an engine and an ambulance. Twelve total firefighters were available 100 percent of the time.

    With the new staffing model only station 1 will be able to respond with an engine and an ambulance. Stations #2 and #3 will only respond with an engine or an ambulance. Sometimes eleven firefighters will be working, frequently less. The Village has stated that they intend to reduce staffing all the way down to 8 personnel any given day. This means that when the ambulance is on a call (over 10 times per day) the fire engine will sit in the station “unstaffed”. Our biggest concern is fire station 3. The Village has indicated that under their plan the fire engine will be “unstaffed” at least 53 days per year.

    Q: Even with this new “response model” won’t I still have service available to me?

    A: Yes. If you need a fire engine or ambulance one will respond, guaranteed. The issue is response time. For example: If the crew of your fire station is on a call in the fire engine and you call 911 and request an ambulance, the Village will send you an ambulance from across town or even another town. This will cost precious time necessary for medical treatment to begin.

    Q: A couple of minutes doesn’t sound like much is it really that big of a deal?

    A: Ambulance response emergencies such as trauma, stroke and cardiac arrest require immediate attention. Any delay in care can greatly compromise your health. Certain time restraints are required in order to achieve greater outcomes. Fire responses require huge amount of manpower and firefighting apparatus. Fire’s today burn hotter and faster than those of 30 years ago. The use of synthetic materials allows fire to grow exponentially. Any delay in means your house could be lost to fire or worse yet the loss of life due to fire growth.

    Q: What net effect will this have on me if the village doesn’t meet response times or have good manpower levels.

    A: ISO sets the standards for insurance companies all over the state. If certain standards are not met by the village a higher ISO level will be given. The range is from 1-10. 1 being the best level of service. Currently our ISO is rated at 3. Previously our ISO rating in the rural area’s of town had a level of 8B. This decrease in rating means homeowners insurance levels should fall within the next couple of years as insurance companies review policies. This is just one way the insurance companies use to gauge the communities ability to respond to incidents. Refer to your local insurance company should you have more questions.

    Q: What other services does the fire department offer that may be affected?

    A: The fire department inspects every business in the community each year. During that time period hazards are documented and checked for correction. This service has provided for significant fire decline that helps keep the community financially healthy. With limited resources inspections may be affected potentially causing a spike in fire loss in the business community.

    Q: What do firefighters do each day?

    A: Your professional firefighter/paramedics work on a 24/48 duty schedule. This means we live at the fire station for 24 hours beginning at 06:00am. Firefighter/paramedics work 365 days per year, including holidays and weekends. The fire department is a 24/7, 365 day operation. A majority of daily activities include training. In addition to responding to an average of 10.7 calls per day, a normal 24-hour shift also includes vehicle checks and care of all fire apparatus and fire equipment. Stations must be cleaned thoroughly from top to bottom. Other daily activities include fire inspections, public education activities, fire drills, rural surveys, pre-fire planning activities, hydrant testing, and fire hose testing. Lieutenant’s are responsible to oversee certain tasks including, fire prevention, hose testing, self contained breathing apparatus repair, fit testing, ladder testing, and pre-fire planning, just to name a few. Many of our members also actively participate in emergency response teams. Without support of the fire department these areas would go unprotected in our own community. Examples include: technical rescue, hazardous materials and side scan sonar teams. All these activities are vital and help provide the highest level of service possible to the community.

    Q: Where can I find more information regarding the fire department?

    A: Click for the 2012-2103 Carpentersville Fire Department Budget Presentation.

    Q: I’m not comfortable with the current state of affairs! What can I do?

    A: Contact your elected officials and ask them why they feel these cuts are necessary. Demand they staff fire stations appropriately and consider cuts elsewhere. If they won’t listen consider your options next election. Click on the officials name to send an e-mail.

  • Don Burroway
  • Paul Humpfer
  • Patricia Schultz
  • Ginger Stephens
  • Kay Teeter
  • Kevin Rehberg




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