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Trustees Expected to Announce New Orland Fire Chief in May

The Orland Fire Protection District also discussed cutting services, such as dropping one ambulance or possibly closing Station 6, during Tuesday night's meeting.

The search for a new chief could conclude in May, after trustees narrow remaining candidates to five and schedule a final interview within the next two weeks, according to Board President Jim Hickey.

That pool of resumes, as many as 40 deep, included firefighters from in and out of the state, as well as men from Orland Park whom work for other districts, Hickey said following the district’s monthly board meeting on Tuesday.

However, the only resume to come in-house was Acting Fire Chief Raymond Kay, whose performance the board president described as “phenomenal.”

Former Chief Bryant Krizik parted ways with the district last year .

The one firefighter who garners at least three of the five trustees’ favor in May, after interviews, will get the job.

“I’m pretty confident we’ll have a good guy, you know, and not to say that it’s not Chief Kay,” Hickey said.

One candidate, he added, dropped out of the race when he discovered that he had applied to Orland—not Orlando.

Board President Looking to Citizens for Guidance on Cuts or Taxes

In other fire district news, the day could come when residents of the Orland Fire Protection District, , will be asked to choose between cutting services or raising taxes.

Hickey said trustees were reluctantly looking ahead at the possibility of dropping either a truck or an ambulance from service, or eliminating the Fire Prevention Department altogether to manage future expenses and avoid an undesirable referendum down the road.

“This year we cut millions of dollars out of the budget and we barely made it,” he said, adding that he wanted to hear suggestions from the residents.

Other options floated have been the closing of and outsourcing ambulance service, which Hickey adamantly said he opposed on account of "horror stories" from other towns. He would prefer that the village absorb the district’s Fire Prevention Department, which, he said, is supported by the district but whose ticket revenue benefits the village.

During the meeting, Joseph Gleiter of Orland Park told the board that talk of possible changes to ambulance service concern him and other seniors. It was a concern that went unanswered, but one of a few Hickey addressed with reporters after the meeting.

When asked why a referendum might be necessary if the district chose not to make cuts, Hickey fingered annual employee raises.

“Let's just say this year we have $400,000 left over," he said. "Well, if salaries go up by $600,000 that tells you, unless we cut something next year, we're going to be out of money.”

Orland Firefighters Union Local 2743 President Walter Rafacz was not immediately available for comment late Tuesday night.

Negotiations for a new firefighters’ contract were expected to begin as early as January but still haven't begun. Cuts could affect staffing levels and would likely play a role in those discussions.

On the same night, trustees passed an ordinance abating money back to taxpayers, though an exact number was not readily available from either Hickey or his public information specialist, Ray Hanania.

Trustees Chris Evoy and Martin McGill did not attend the meeting.

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Ethel Reimer March 28, 2012 at 04:34 PM
This Orland senior is having trouble following Mr. Hickey. He wanted to take over Palos Fire. Then he talked of abating taxes in Orland Fire. Now he's talking about bringing in private ambulance companies and closing Station 6. The crews from Station 6 have been to my house many times to help my elderly husband. Our neighbors rely on these men to help us. Who will we call when we need help? How long will it take to get there? I think all of the seniors who live near Station 6 need to pay close attention to what Mr. Hickey is doing. Our lives depend on it.
John W. Graber March 28, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I am a retired Chicago Firefighter and I want to see the numbers for these stations before they start closing them. How many runs does Station 6 have in a day? How many are for EMS? I'd like to know which stations these guys live by. I'm betting they don't live by Station 6. The newspapers need to look into this. Pull the numbers and find out what station these clowns live near. I'm betting they don't live near the fire station they want to close. People need to wake up!
Stella Ciapinski March 28, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Please do not close the fire station by me. Me and my neighbors need their help. We are mostly seniors with medical problems and need the ambulance to come fast when we are sick. Please don't close the fire station.
paul cervenka March 28, 2012 at 07:35 PM
There are at least a dozen ways to "enhance" service while saving huge amounts of money (millions) without closing any fire stations. We'll be fine. What we didn't need was, station #7 built under the disguise of a traing center without our permission totally deceiving OP taxpayers. This was under the Maher/Krizik/Anastos regime. A referendum for a FIRE DEPARTMENT would cut costs by at least 40%. Right mayor. Would you like to debate me mayor?
John Humphrey March 29, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Orland Fire is fully funded by property taxes. So one would have to be a homeowner or business owner in the orland fire territory to pay taxes to this body. So how is it that Jim Hickey, who, rents a house, allegedly in Orland, can be president of a board, for which HE PAYS NO TAXES TO! Jim Hickey is NOT a taxpayer of the Orland Fire Protection District! How much did Gormans, I mean Hickeys which hunt into trying to oust the old chief cost taxpayers? About 800,000? So much for dollars and sense. This guy can't manage his own family budget and is now making decisions affecting the safety of 75,000 people.
John Humphrey March 29, 2012 at 03:53 AM
*witch
John Fotopoulos March 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Mr. Hickey, it's time for a referendum to see of the tax payers would prefer to disband the fire district. I think the residents of Orland Park will prefer to have village provide fire and ems.
Rick VanderVeen April 02, 2012 at 12:52 AM
So according to your logic someone who rents doesnt pay taxes? I am quite sure that when someone rents a home the rent money they pay includes the taxes.
Sara Waters April 02, 2012 at 01:29 AM
I agree with Rick, John the way you are wording this is almost as if renters are not even citizens of orland since they don't directly pay property taxes. By that account, anyone who's mortgage company sends in their taxes is in the same boat. Why do you think he can't handle his own family budget? Because he rents? In all honesty, if I knew what the market was going to do, I would have sold years ago and rented. You are sounding like you have zero flaws in your life at all. How nice for you to be so perfect to cast judgement on others.
Max April 03, 2012 at 11:05 AM
They will never close St 6 dont worry, as a former CFD member you should know better. These are political games during contract time. Homer fire and Mokena would pickup the slack any how. Max
Responsible Government ? April 05, 2012 at 10:29 PM
I totally agree
Responsible Government ? April 07, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Are you sitting down? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KerAtrMGJGc&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Rick VanderVeen April 07, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Wow Mr. Responsible Government! You make this videos in your basement?
Rick VanderVeen April 08, 2012 at 02:24 AM
I bet you would change your mind if those firefighter/paramedics have to save your life at 3 am!
Responsible Government ? April 08, 2012 at 12:01 PM
I appreciate the paramedics and firemen. I have a problem with the Districts spending and budgeting of money. Their pay is one of the highest in the country. People are taxed enough from them in Orland. These state pension plans are a Joke.How could any of them make $200'000/yr ? I know doctors that don't make that much. Now the district will start their Fear campaign about cutting services. Have they cut any overtime? With home prices falling on Orland,which they will continue to do for many more years. The tax bills will fall too.The budgets will have to be cut also. Just like in the private sectors. Companies have been forced to run leaner.
Tuck Lampley April 08, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I feel very sorry for Responsible Government........You really truly have no idea what you are talking about. What is your salary and are you willing to give your life for that salary and your job? Also, if you did not rant on about things you do not understand or are even educated in, you would have time to go to orland's website and see what they make.....not one salary is at $200,000...yet another uneducated response by a very bored uneducated person. Before you slur out low educated responses.....maybe research for at least 20 seconds. To insult even the memory of 9/11 in the manner you have, shows you were never hugged as a child and live in your mothers basement. Do you know what a $99,000 salary get's you in New York....not much since everything is so much more expensive in NY. Get a clue!!
Responsible Government ? April 09, 2012 at 02:19 AM
This info was from the Chicago Trbune http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-20/news/ct-met-orland-fire-salaries-20110720_1_fire-district-fire-department-overtime How "educated" are you to make a personal attack on me questioning my education.I am a Orland resident who has seen his taxes go up 30% when values have gone down.These pay packages when provided via Tribune. My salary isnt provided by tax dollars. Theirs are,by concerned people like me.
Tuck Lampley April 11, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I also am an orland resident who is concerned about taxes. Where were you when the economy was good and nobody was attacking firefighter salaries? Now you want to complain about the fire department.......I ACTUALLY researched further, as you did not. When I saw the tribune article I wondered why they were making what they were. If you would have spent a minute of your wasted time and visited orland fire's website, you would see the amount of overtime those orland firefighters were working. Do you think a fair salary for 80hrs a wk worked would be $20,000? I am a supporter of orland fire's service and do not want to see them cut down!! There contract is also on there website, based on the firefighters base salary.......they must have worked a lot of OT. I am willing to bet, If you have a heart attack you won't complain one bit about them then. I have family that live in Tinley Park and pay comparable taxes....they get two kids on a trace ambulance in about 15min.......that is the people who should complain. As far as the education attack, I would not have said that unless you were making a stir about something you are clearly are uneducated in, I believe that is what I meant. My question is they post there salaries on there website....they are willing to work a minimum work week of 48hrs and sometimes 72hrs as a regular workweek. They are willing to be up at night and possibly give there life early for approximately $85,000...........I can see their story....what about you?
John Paul April 11, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Does anyone know what it would take to abolish the Fire District and create a Fire Dept. in Orland Park? Wouldn't the residents of Orland Hills and unincorporated Orland Township also have to agree? And if so, why would they? I can see Orland Park residents liking the idea of a separate fire department. Politically, it makes sense for Mayor McLaughlin; it takes power away from Liz Gorman and it gives him control, just as it is with the police department. I also think it would make things more costly for people in Orland Hills and unincorporated Orland Township.
Responsible Government ? April 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM
First of all I dont know how you know so much about what I know or not know. A government body has to spend responsibly at all times and not when revenues just fall. Other Districts dont go out and buy basically whatever they want ,like OFD often did.Most have to budget for new trucks,respirators,equipment etc. I have friends who are Chicago firemen and they dont bring in as much money for comparable years. Plus their call numbers are many times higher. Orland Fire Districts budget is greater than the entire city budget of Orland Park.They are not part of the City of Orland. Everyone needs fire and paramedics.Just be more efficient and dont keep running to the taxpayer well for more money. Hopefully I didn't sound too uneducated for you.
Responsible Government ? April 11, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Not my video,sorry
paul cervenka April 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Orland Hills (Westhaven) is responsible for the fire districts creation. This solution grew from not having it's own resources back in 1968. Andrew Corp. was the source of funding for fire department back then. Today, Orland Hills would have their own station. Number 4 on 94th ave. NO, the mayor would NOT want a fire department! He brags on the low cost to homeowners for village taxes. This would be a budget killer. The fire dept would have to compete with all other village services for every dime. The mayor likes self taxing entities. Water, sewer, garbage, Library. Fire district. etc. Not on his table to worry about. NO mayor would want OP to have a fire dept. Our OPFPD is more than the cost of the entire village and township combined! Twice the national average cost! OP homeowners also subsidize all surrounding communities. We send teams to all fire/emergency calls in near by suburban towns. It's an agreement policy. When did you last see a Tinley Park or Oak Forest truck or ambulace answering a call in OP? Funding is a local issue to be determined by local residents. Orland Hills and Uninc. can make arragements as the need to. Just write the check. FYI, the OPFPD budget is going up about $1 million per year just in health and pension legacy costs. Unsustainable, and the reason for the referendum. I'd love to have a public forum about this. We need a long term fix/plan.
Responsible Government ? April 12, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Paul its a ticking timebomb http://www.pensiontsunami.com/
Just Saying May 10, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I find it quite entertaining how when Orland tried to steal land away from Mokena Fire they boasted about Station 6's resources and quick response times. I bet the residents of the nursing home on 183rd are glad they didn't buy into their lies and stayed with Mokena FD now!
medic35 July 17, 2012 at 04:38 PM
to mr tuck, you need t get ur facts straight, as for tinleys ambulance service, trace made 96% of their etas, and they only get 6 min to get to a location.and u get 2 trained educ,ated paramedics! The same training orland medics get. And as a metter of fact, trace runs more medical emergencies and real calls then fire dept. Also the residents of tinley can choose what hosp they want to go to unless they are real bad. Trace medcs are under paid, and unlike orland, when trace has all their rigs on calls, they bring in other rigs. So get ur facts straight before talking shit!
Rick VanderVeen July 18, 2012 at 01:29 AM
@Medic35 do you really want to talk about education! You can not even spell! Now let's talk about getting our facts strait. Did you contact Orland for their response times for a comparison? What is a "real call?". I wasnt aware that an ambulance call for trace was more of an emergency, than a call in Orland Park! Also, anyone can choose to sign a refusal and be transport to the hospital of their choice. Since your a Medic you would know that a true emergency will go to the closest hospital. Orland uses a thing a called mutual aid "MABAS" to have ambulances/fire rigs to cover them when they need assistance. A trace bill is about $1000.00 to go to the hospital ALS. Whatever you insurance doesn't pay, you have to pay. I'm sorry that you do not have your facts strait "medic35". If you need those run times call them. Call your banker and congressman up, they cause the recession not public servants.

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