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Truth in Press Releases

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It always makes me wonder whether or not press releases are truthful – or more hopeful in nature.  In the case of this press release however, it’s pretty clear that hopeful is the best case scenario for a description.

I’ve discussed at length the reasons for the “disagreement,” but I wanted to touch on this press release a little bit.

First, the agreement says it will increase on-shift staffing levels at each station.  Well, after a month – is it true? NO.  There are still 11 people per day manning 3 stations.  Station 2 got 1 more person, station 3 got one more person, station 1 lost 2 people.  So while the press release certainly implies that more staff will be added at each station, the fact is, this didn’t happen.

Second, it says that Equipment and Apparatus will be staffed and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Is that true? sort of – the fire department is now able to man 1 additional vehicle (but still not the 6 they could prior to october 17, 2013.)  So, not all equipment and apparatus is staffed.  In fact, station 1, by carpenter park (and covering old town – and Otto Engineering) is now down to a one vehicle station – while there are 3 vehicles there, there is only enough personnel to use one at a time.  Given that most calls are ambulance calls in Carpentersville, that means the fire engine and truck at station 1 sit while the ambulance is out running calls and NOT available to respond to homes and businesses.

Next, it says that the potential for engines to be taken out of service on days when an unusual number of firefighters are out sick or on personal leave is eliminated.  Is this true?  Sure – the potential is eliminated – assuming that the village replaces those who are off.  More on this once a FOIA that was submitted today is received.

Finally, it says that “Added scheduling flexibility for both supervisors and firefighters addresses staffing needs and provides for a full compliment of full and part time firefighters at all three Carpentersville fire stations.  True? NO.  Aside from the press release sounding as though the village is returning the previous staffing levels to normal, as I discussed above, the 12 daily duty spots are still down to 11 (and potentially less), and station 1 is now running a jump company where it wasn’t before, so – while the ability of the village is there to staff it, the decisions has been to NOT staff it appropriately.

So while lip service is paid to “Keeping Carpentersville families safe,” the reality is that it just isn’t true.  Apparently the Village feels that not staffing the stations with the same level of service that me and my fellow residents have enjoyed over the past 14 years just isn’t necessary – and the response times continue to rise: more on that once I receive that FOIA back as well.

Stay Tuned, as this story will continue to grow.  When will the politicians in our town learn that openness and honesty is both more admirable – and less painful.  It’s time to expose the Village’s inaccuracies in their statements and call on them to do what’s right, not just for us, but for their own homes and families as well.

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