Friday, December 20, 2013

OFPD pushes use of AEDs in retail and public locations at Rotary Club speech

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OFPD pushes use of AEDs in retail and public locations at Rotary Club speech

On December 19, 2013 the Orland Park Rotary Club hosted an Orland Fire Protection District presentation on Community CARE at Silver Lakes Country Club.  Approximately 30 members of the Rotary Club were present to hear Battalion Chief Raymond Kay speak about the districts program to save lives.  Community CARE is a program geared toward saving victims of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). 

Early CPR and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) are the key public components of the Community CARE program.  State laws like the Colleen O'Sullivan Law, which requires all indoor physical fitness facilities operated by any local government to have an AED on premises, is complimentary with the Community CARE program.

The program detailed how nearly 1,000 people each day in the country experience SCA.  While the national average rate to save SCA victims is approximately 10%, the average save rate in the Orland Fire District is approximately 46%.  

The rate in the district is due in great part to early CPR and AED use.  Members also had the opportunity to watch a CPR demonstration and to try CPR for themselves.

The Community CARE program is driven to work with community service groups like the Rotary Club, and retail establishments, in order to share the message about SCA, AEDs and how to sign up for FREE CPR classes.  To learn more about Community CARE go to the website at:

Pictured above is (left to right): Battalion Chief Kay of the Orland Fire Protection District and John A. Bibeau, President of the Orland Park Rotary Club

Monday, November 18, 2013

OFPD Board of Trustees announces new union contract that offers taxpayers significant longterm savings

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OFPD announces new contract with firefighters that cuts costs and reduces expenditures

Orland Fire Protection District — The Orland Fire Protection District is proud to announce the renewal of its contract with the firefighters union, holding the line on pay raises to under 3 percent each year over the next three years and significantly reducing longterm costs.

The new three-year contract, which takes affect immediately, projects a reduction of ranking officers through attrition and their replacement by firefighters, and savings in healthcare, overtime and tougher requirements for drug testing and safety.

Members of the Orland Fire Protection Board said the new contract, which does not require board action because it was agreed to as a result of binding arbitration, would increase the number of lower-paid firefighters by reducing the number of higher paid ranking officers including lieutenants and engineers.

“This single change could save the taxpayers as much as $1 million a year by putting more firefighters on the force and less higher paid officers,” explained Orland Fire Trustee Chris Evoy, who noted the change will come through attrition over the life of the contract. The number of fire lieutenants, for example, will be reduced from 33 to 24, a savings of about $300,000 a year when fully implemented.

Additional savings will come by shifting the responsibility for overtime to senior management, a move OFPD Trustees said they hope will cut overtime expenditures by 50 percent.

“We want to thank the union leadership and negotiating team from Local 2754 for agreeing to these terms that will help ease the pressure on the budget and help the district achieve its goals of reigning in excessive spending,” Evoy added.

“The new contract will help the district save money and reduce expenditures by allowing a tougher management of overtime, shifting responsibility to battalion chiefs to better plan personnel schedules.”

In the past overtime needs were often slotted using higher paid ranking firefighters in ranking positions. Under the new plan, lower paid firefighters will get the majority of the overtime assignments when needed.

“We anticipate that this will be a very large savings to the taxpayers,” Evoy said congratulating his colleagues on the board including President Jim Hickey, and Trustees Blair Rhode, John Brudnak and Jayne Schirmacher.

Other concessions include requiring union members to increase their contributions, through payroll deductions, for healthcare benefits, and to adhere to a tougher and more stringent Drug Policy, lowering the tolerance level from .08 (which is the highest in the state) to .02 (which is the lowest in the state).

Employee contributions will increase from 7 percent to 9 percent in 2014 and 11 percent in 2015. And, he said, Kelly Days (other paid leave days) will be required to be scheduled and will not be permitted to be converted to sick days when not used.

“We think this reflects the best interests of the residents and the taxpayers,” Rhode said. “I know the board would like to express their gratitude to the leadership of the Local 2754 Union for their support in helping to achieve the district’s budget goals.”

Hickey added, “The mandate of the new board has been to maintain services while reducing the burden on taxpayers and I and the board have been working hard to balance both. We have saved many millions of dollars over the past few years that had we not acted, costs would have skyrocketed. This new contract is very favorable to the taxpayers and we’re proud that it achieves so much with their interests in mind."

The contract went to binding arbitration as a result of the union rejecting board offers. The arbitrator’s decision is final and does not need to be ratified by the board of trustees, Evoy explained. The contract is retroactive through Jan. 1, 2013.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Statement from Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Ken Brucki

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Statement from Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Ken Brucki

Power lines, trees down but no structural damage reported in Orland Park

“Our community of Orland Park was very fortunate. We skirted the major brunt of the storm. It was headed towards us but turned to the east before creating damage to our community. As of now, we are not seeing much damage. We are investigating wires down, trees down and power outages on 143rd Street between Wolf and West Avenue … but we have not received any reports to the OFPD of damage to any structures.

“As a precaution, we were extremely prepared for this storm and tracked this for quite some time, called in additional dispatchers to handle a potential increase in calls from residents. We put up our backup dispatch center just in case there was an interruption of our communications so we could switch to our backup centers to keep our communications.

“We also went into ‘Storm Mode in our dispatch center to put all of our equipment, vehicles and personnel on ready and radio communications so our notification is instant. It puts all of our on-duty personnel on an immediate notice in the event of putting out a call.

“Assistance has not been requested from the other communities around us but are ready if there is a need.

“Our technical rescue teams are on standby and we are prepared to respond if we receive a call for assistance.”


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Illinois American Water Distributes $1000 to Orland Fire Protection District

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Illinois American Water Distributes $1000 to
Orland Fire Protection District
Woodridge, Ill. (October 28, 2013) – The Orland Fire Protection District will be able to purchase additional fire equipment thanks to a grant by Illinois American Water (IAW).  The IAW 2013 Firefighter Grant Program provides financial assistance to fire and emergency organizations serving communities in its service areas.  Chief Ken Brucki recently accepted a check for $1000 that will be used to design a training prop that will replicate all different water delivery methods that fire personnel encounter in real situations.

Approximately $72,975 will be awarded to 75 fire departments through Illinois American Water’s 2013 Firefighter Grant Program.  The program was created in 2010 to provide financial assistance to fire and emergency organizations serving customers in Illinois American Water’s service area.  Since creation, the program has resulted in over 220 grants totaling over $245,000 awarded across the state.

“We are committed to supporting our local fire departments,” said Karla Olson Teasley, president of Illinois American Water.  “This program enables us to further support fire protection in the communities we serve and partner with our local fire fighters.”

Grants of up to $1,500 are awarded to cover the costs associated with the following:
·       Personal protective gear
·       Communications equipment
·       Firefighting tools
·       Water handling equipment
·       Training and related activities/materials used to support community fire protection
·       Reimbursement for specific fire training classes, including training manuals and workbooks

Pictured from left to right: Henry Maradiaga, Operations Supervisor; Lieutenant David Piper, Training Supervisor; Chief Ken Brucki; Sue Gram, Municipal Advocate

About Illinois American Water

Illinois American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest
investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville. 
Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company.  With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 14 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting