Firehouse vandalized after crew loses jobs
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
By Daniel Duggan
Boots filled with beer cans, chicken wings and ranch dressing greeted Roberts Park Fire Protection District firefighters Monday when they took over for the now-abolished Justice Fire Department.
A dirty diaper was hung from the rafters, furniture was missing from the Justice firehouse and keys were broken off in several locks.
"I'm very disappointed in the lack of professionalism with the way they went out," Justice Mayor Melvin VanAllen said.
Some firefighters who attended a farewell party at the fire station Sunday night said they didn't witness any vandalism. Others condemned the behavior.
"The guys were hurt and mad, but this is no way to go out," former Deputy Chief Rick Symonds said.
The Justice Village Board voted July 11 to contract out its fire services. VanAllen said the move will save the village $400,000 a year by paying the Roberts Park Fire Protection District to provide services.
Symonds said there is no excuse for vandalism, but there is an explanation for the missing furniture.
The Justice Firefighters Association has collected dues to pay for items not provided by the fire department, such as couches, coffee makers and television sets.
Dan Johnson, the association's treasurer, said instead of leaving the items behind for Roberts Park, the group donated them to the Willow Springs Fire Department.
"We're not going to leave that stuff there," Johnson said. "They bought that for themselves with their dues, they didn't buy it for the village."
VanAllen said some large pieces of equipment, such as a stretcher used for moving people up flights of stairs, was not accounted for.
Justice Police Department Deputy Chief Tom Bockmann said police are documenting a list of items vandalized or missing. Over the next few days, he said, police will investigate whether items were stolen and if charges are appropriate.
"Some of the stuff is obviously mischief," he said. "Other stuff is not so funny."
For example, Brockmann said, keys were broken off in the locks of several doors. The door knobs on the inside of the doors also were taken off, so a person could have been trapped.
Johnson said VanAllen is lying about the damage.
"We all made a conscious effort to clean up after ourselves," he said. "We were not going to go out on a bad note."
He also denied VanAllen's claim that people at the party were drinking alcohol despite a prohibition on having alcohol at the party.
Trustee Richard Sparr, who was a part-time firefighter until one month ago, was at the party and would not comment on whether people were drinking.
"I won't say either way," he said. "I will say no one on duty was drinking."
The firefighters on duty overnight could not be reached for comment.
Symonds said the men on duty didn't have a lazy night, rather they took four people to area hospitals after a traffic crash at 11 a.m. They put out a trash bin fire at 1 a.m. and responded to a carbon monoxide detector that went off at 6 a.m., no one was injured in either incident.
After the Roberts Park Fire Protection District took over at 7 a.m., Fire Chief Bill Doherty said the new crew quickly got to work.
Part-time firefighters spent the day giving rooms in the fire station at 7800 Archer Avenue a fresh coat of paint and a thorough cleaning. He said every piece of equipment must be tested and inventoried to ensure it is in good working order.
"Our goal is to come in here, be professional and provide quality fire protection," he said.
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Thread: Take that !
08-02-2005, 03:28 PM #1
Take that !IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
08-02-2005, 03:34 PM #2
The whole time I was reading that story I cringed. Sady, there are those citizens that already think poorly of Firfighters - we are lazy and get paid for sitting around in our chairs all day while waiting for the tones to go off.
The men and women who worked at that department had the sympathy and concern of everyone who knew about what had happened. Something like this makes everyone involved look bad. Unfortunately, it's another case of a few bad apples....
Last edited by Emberxx; 08-02-2005 at 03:47 PM.
08-02-2005, 03:37 PM #3
Probably some disgruntled fellow firefighters. Maybe they werenít happy because they didnít get enough fires or runs. Maybe they were pi**ed since they could have been voted off the department.
I would put my money, 2 to 1, that it is a member or former member of that department!!!OUTSTANDING
Make It Happen
Never forget 9-11-2001
343 Brothers Who Were MURDERED!!
08-02-2005, 03:40 PM #4
I am withholding public judgement until the facts become more known. You can follow along at Daily Southtown
Last edited by MIKEYLIKESIT; 08-02-2005 at 04:42 PM.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
08-02-2005, 03:42 PM #5
The link wouldn't work for me...is it just me or is the site down?"When you throw dirt, you lose ground."
08-02-2005, 04:43 PM #6
Sorry about that. The link has been fixed.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
08-02-2005, 04:49 PM #7
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Berkshire County
WOW... What the hell.. Pretty immature of some people. I can understand there anger for whatever reason, but no need for ANYTHING like that. What was the scoop? Why did they loose there jobs? Were they fired, or just cut due to budgetary constraints?
08-02-2005, 04:59 PM #8
I wasn't sure if it was my puter or not! I keep losing my DSL connection for some reason. ~sighing...I'd call Comcast but I don't feel like being on the phone for two hours!"When you throw dirt, you lose ground."
08-02-2005, 07:43 PM #9
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
The story was pretty much blown out of context, but what would you expect from a mayor who's reputation is worth...what was in the diaper.
08-02-2005, 07:45 PM #10
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
By the way...Go to te Illinois tread and you'll find the reasons behind "the layoff."
08-02-2005, 08:43 PM #11
heres that info .............(from the IL thread)IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
"but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
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