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  1. #1
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    Angry U turn ordered in IL Convoy

    did anyone hear about the fire department called back to there city in IL from over 600 miles away?

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,3096021.story

    http://www.dailyherald.com/community...92194&zone=ben


  2. #2
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    While I can understand them being upset, and to some degree...the politics between the mayor and the department, I do not see this as that big of an issue.

    Although MABAS may have been activated at the request of Louisiana, these guys (including a chief) just packed up and left...taking tax-payer funded equipment with them. They should have probably discussed it with some higher-ups first instead of just deciding to "go". Who pays for the gear when and if it gets damaged, who is responsible if one of them gets hurt, and sure FEMMA (Federal Emergency Mis-Management Agency) told them that they would be reimbursed, but considering their response to this disaster so far...I wouldn't necessarily bank on it...at least not right away.

    While I applaud someone's willingness to help another area in a time of disaster, a plan must be developed to ensure adequate services exist at home and the chief should have taken this into consideration.

  3. #3
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    the same could be said about local mutal aid responses. Regardless of written agreements or not, the principle would still be the same. Take resources from one location to another, with the original town or whomever having to suck up the expenses.

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    Default Community First!

    Your first duty should be to the home front.

    If we all just run on raw emotion who will guard the fort while were away.

    The best thing that most of us can do is sit tight and do our job at home!
    Always a day late and a dollar short!

    Hillbilly Irish!

  5. #5
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    I agree, priority one begins at home. But I also believe that if you can spare help (although not many depts have extra manpower) it should, at the very least, be given serious thought as to allowing the surplus to go. You never know when you, yourself, will be in a similar situation where you need the help from any place you can get it.

  6. #6
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    And would you hold that same logic if it was YOUR town who needed a massive response? I can answer that for you and that answer is "NO"!
    And if you say "yes", then you are not being realistic.
    Could Bourbonnais have handled the Amtrak accident without outside assistance? NO.
    Could Utica have handled the F4 tornado that destroyed their town last year? NO.
    The discussion that you are trying to have here involves a MABAS department that was going to send their team as they were asked to do, but the MAYOR decided that it wasn't a good idea.
    And how many of you want the mayor to run your fire departments?
    Do NOT infer that they "self-dispatched". They DID NOT.
    They were honoring an agreement like the rest of them did.
    If a two-man team is going to throw that big of a hole into your department, then you have no business signing mutual aid agreements, because when you do, you are agreeing; no questions asked.
    An agreement is just that. And your fire gear might get damaged, but the same could hold true if you practice with it or attend fire schools or participate in an Operation Prom Night. Don't make it sound like it would otherwise be kept in pristeen state. I'll bet many of you haven't even taken so much as a scrub brush to it since it was issued to you.
    Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill.
    CR
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    The discussion that you are trying to have here involves a MABAS department that was going to send their team as they were asked to do, but the MAYOR decided that it wasn't a good idea.
    And how many of you want the mayor to run your fire departments?
    As much as I hate it when the city thinks they know what is best for the department, they DO control our budget. Whatever they want us to do...I'd do it...even if it did not necessarily agree with my principles. There are routes to take in dealing with this kind of situation, and if they had let someone know what they were doing, I bet it wouldn't have been an issue.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by parafire81
    As much as I hate it when the city thinks they know what is best for the department, they DO control our budget. Whatever they want us to do...I'd do it...even if it did not necessarily agree with my principles. There are routes to take in dealing with this kind of situation, and if they had let someone know what they were doing, I bet it wouldn't have been an issue.
    Wrong.
    I haven't got a whole lot of faith or respect for a leader who would put a MABAS agreement at risk because of their ego and that's all this is, my friend. It's the mayor pouting and throwing a hissy, because it didn't receive his blessing.
    He wasn't being left without coverage. Because of mutual aid, the station was short one truck and two sets of gear. That is easily replaced by how many trucks and sets of gear through a mutual aid agreement?
    This mayor will regret his actions, because one of these days, he will need help and if he runs up against like thinkers, he won't get squat.
    And besides; it's not his stuff.
    We have two trucks. If one is out of the station for whatever reason, I have the resources of 14 other fire departments, so I'm not the least bit worried that we will mitigate whatever incident with a group effort.
    He created an embarrassment. I just hope his ego is still intact.
    You think it's good business to have the mayor calling the shots for your fire department? Take a look at Detroit, Harwich to name a few.
    Then come back here with the rah-rah stuff.
    CR
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    Man I would love to work for a Department that is not ultimately ran by the governing body .....Unfortunately there isn't one in the U.S. that I know of...

  10. #10
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    Default MABAS Deployment

    I agree with most that Chief Reason expressed in his comments. I disagree that the MABAS deployment was an entirely MABAS operation, though. Wasn't it using Illinois Statewide Mutual Aid through IEMA, and providing services to another state that is not a MABAS partner in an agreement. I am well aware that EMAC plays a part here.

    The fire chief from Bensenville should have notified his local government that their resources were requested to be sent and obtained their permission. I also agree that person in Bensenville who stopped the convoy and had his people return after traveling 650 miles, may be looking for a new place to work and live.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shangrileu
    Man I would love to work for a Department that is not ultimately ran by the governing body .....Unfortunately there isn't one in the U.S. that I know of...

    Me too! I wish that our city would stay the hell out of department business...but damn, we wouldn't have our trucks, station and equipment!

    I wish I lived in Perfect...

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parafire81
    Me too! I wish that our city would stay the hell out of department business...but damn, we wouldn't have our trucks, station and equipment!
    I wish I lived in Perfect...
    We have all of that and the city doesn't run our fire department.
    Our board of trustees-I'm president-makes those decisions.
    And when our MABAS division was called to send people, I would have supported that with men and equipment. But, our department wasn't called, so the men and trucks stayed here.
    But they had my permission and still do, if there is a second call.
    CR
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    So you are saying that you do not have to answer to anyone above you??

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    Default of the people, for the people, by the people...

    Look we all answer to someone...No matter how "In Charge" we may think we are. It is the fundamental basis of Local, State and Federal government in the United States of America.

    Anytime you have to answer to somebody, which we all do, you might have something like this happen. It is just the way it is.....like it or not.

    It does not make bad decisions right but it does allow us a time to reflect on how or why the decision was made...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by parafire81
    So you are saying that you do not have to answer to anyone above you??
    If the public who elected me felt that I had made a poor decision, then I would EVENTUALLY answer to them.
    THEY are the only ones above me.
    But THEY do not run the day-to-day business of the fire department.
    In fact; they don't run it at all. That's why they elected me and the other two.
    CR
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    Sounds like quite a set up. I am however having a little difficulty understanding your structure. You are the Chief of the Department AND the President of your governing body?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shangrileu
    Sounds like quite a set up. I am however having a little difficulty understanding your structure. You are the Chief of the Department AND the President of your governing body?
    No. That's not correct.
    CR
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    So you are the president of the governing body but you have a Chief under you? Is that the set up?

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    Default Chief Reason = Utopia

    Chief Reason is not only the chief elected official, but he is apparently the legislative and judical branch of his local fire service organization as well. All is good in Illinois as long as his constituency agrees with the good chief. Let's send our resources a thousand miles to the south. I'm sure that at some point in the future that New Orleans Fire Department personnel and resources will roll into Chicago, and/or the surrounding suburbs to provide mutual aid through an EMAC request. Or was it the case that Illinois officials bothered EMAC officials to the point that they bypassed seven other states (which were closer) to allow Illinois resources and personnel to respond to the affected area?

    With respect to the jurisdiction that was required (mandated) to return home. One word "Duh". Your vehicles were purchased by your local government and/or jurisdiction. The two employees that were enroute to parts unknown are employees of the local government. Do you think that it might be a good idea to solicit and obtain the approval of the local officials before you depart your normal area of operation? Worker's compenstation; routine pay; health benefits; retirement; and all of the other ancillary costs of an employee? Nah, let's jump into the first available SUV and make our way to Louisiana. Hell, this is a national catastrophe.

  20. #20
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    This issue runs a bit deeper than playing "mother-may-I", tax payers, or shift coverage.

    From my understanding, a few years back BFD's local decided to back an individual that was running against the current mayor. The local was able to get the current mayor's name removed from the voting ballot. By some miracle, the mayor won the election and kept his office. Needless to say, department/city relations have been somewhat "stressed".

    BFD is not a tiny department. I can't imagine that covering 3 or 4 guys would actually tax this municipality. My department sent 5 guys (similar sized departments), including 2 chief officers and 2 LTs. Bensenville's mayor is a piece of work. Hopefully, they won't need mutual aid on a box alarm anytime soon. Maybe the mayors of Elk Grove & Wood Dale will decide they don't want to pay overtime while their FFs are working an incident in Bensenville.

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