Chicago Heights IAFF Local 711
MDA The IAFF has fought to save the lives of those with neuromuscular diseases since 1954. In addition to campaigns like Fill-the-Boot, thousands of fire fighters nationwide volunteer their personal time at MDA summer camps. Thank you to all who have supported the Chicago Heights Firefighters who have worked to Fill-the-Boot to help those affected with MDA live better lives. We appreciate your support.
In Loving Memory:
LODD May 6, 1974
Richard E. Foglietta
at rest April 11, 1998
at rest November 8, 2006
at rest April 24, 2010
at rest August 27, 2011
at rest January 5, 2012
at rest February 2, 2014
at rest April 10, 2014
Dear Members, please email
us if you know of someone we
may have missed, as we want
to honor all of our union family.
Letter to Citizens of Chicago Heights
Dear Chicago Heights Citizen,
Residents often take fire protection for granted - should an emergency arise, help will quickly arrive. As members of the Chicago Heights Fire Department, it is our job to ensure that you have that peace of mind. In fact, we are sworn by oath to do so. Recent proposals from the mayor's office, however, will threaten that protection. That is why we are calling on your support.
Mayor David A. Gonzalez recently released a plan to modernize our fire department. While such initiatives typically focus on improving operations with the latest in information, techniques and technology, the mayor’s plan will actually decrease the level of protection and service you currently receive.
You may have seen the “Keep 17” signs displayed throughout the city. You may even have one in your yard. This is in reference to the mayor’s plan to reduce firefighter staffing from the current 17 per day to 15 per day. It’s important to note that 17 isn’t some random number, but the minimum level of manpower required to provide operational safety based on community needs. Any decrease to that number is a threat to public safety.
You may also be aware of the fire department’s skyrocketing overtime costs. This is due primarily to the department being forced to operate with nine less firefighters than the budget and the needs of the community require. The fire department has been budgeted for a full staffing of 63 firefighters since 1979. The current workforce has been depleted to 54. Failure to fill these positions has forced our existing staff to pick up the slack by working extra hours. This is obviously not ideal where your safety and firefighter safety are concerned.
Under the mayor’s plan, the money saved by reducing fire protection staffing will be used to purchase new ambulances. What he fails to mention is that Franciscan St James is already going to provide financial assistance in the amount of $300,000 for medical services. These funds will be used for vehicle acquisition, maintenance, equipment upgrades, and other costs associated with patient transport. Furthermore, the city had previously turned down an offer from the hospital to purchase five new ambulances for the department. Why did Mayor Gonzalez refuse their generous offer? That’s a question for his office, or your alderman, to answer.
Also part of the mayor’s plan is to supplement the depleted fire protection staff with part-time workers. This is detrimental in many ways. Part-time employees are not subjected to the same rigorous hiring standards that full-time firefighters must meet. This results in less-qualified candidates. Not to mention patronage and nepotism. Part- time employees are also likely to seek full-time employment elsewhere, creating a revolving door of staff who never fully integrate into the community. We think you’ll agree that when it comes to protecting your homes, families and businesses, you want the best people for the job.
One of the most damaging aspects of the mayor’s plan is the proposed closing of one of the city’s four firehouses. This was omitted in the letter mailed to the citizens. The four stations are strategically located in order to provide each area of the city with prompt and efficient service. So which one will be closed? This too is a question that demands answering.
Now that you are better informed on this issue, we are asking you to contact the mayor’s office and alderperson to voice your concerns and your opposition to the mayor’s plan. Contact information for both is provided below.
Thank you for supporting the Chicago Heights Fire Department. It is our honor and sworn duty to protect you.
Mayor’s Office: 708-756-5315 Alderman Vincent Zaranti: 708-756-5019
Alderman Josh Deabel: 708-756-5017 Alderperson Wanda Rogers: 708-756-5019
Alderman Walter Mosby: 708-756-5322 Alderperson Sylvia Torres: 708-755-3094
Alderman Richard Amadio 708-756-5018 Alderperson Sonia Perez: 708-756-5368
Chicago Heights Fire Fighters became members of the International Association of Fire Fighters on January 19, 1942. The Department has 65 Career Full Time Firefighters that operate out of 5 stations throughout the City.
Chicago Heights Local 711 would like to share some educational articles that you may find interesting. Please take the time to read the following:
- Addressing Myths Often Generated by Private EMS Providers
- The Benefits of Having Multifaceted Firefighters for Jurisdictions
- Major ambulance service shuts down without notice in six states
- Comparison Public vs. Private
- To get one of these signs for your yard, go to the Contact Us and fill out your name, address and add in the notes you would like a sign. Let's paint the town red!
The following video will help explain the role of Emergency Medical Services in the Fire Service:
Here is an example of what a Private company can to that could leave residents unprotected. On August 31, 2016 In Goldsboro, NC A Wayne County private ambulance service that employees hundreds of people and serves thousands of patients announced Wednesday that it is shutting down at the end of the day. Click the article below for the full story...