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Letter: Franklin Park fire chief sets the record straight

Fire station #3 on Elm Street in Franklin Park was closed on May 1 and its ambulance moved to the main fire station at Addison and Scott Street. | Mark Lawton/Sun-Times Media

A recent flyer regarding the closing of the Elm Street Fire Station included a number of statements that were either very misleading or not true. As fire chief, I believe it is important to set the record straight regarding this extremely important issue.

The decision to move the Ambulance back to Station No. 2 was made by me and senior management of the department who are all, including myself, residents of the village.

There have been no staff reductions. In fact, with the hiring of three new firefighters/paramedics last March, the department has two more firefighters than the ordinance calls for.

The deployment of the ambulance was the result of research regarding increased rail traffic and increasing ambulance response times.

Rail traffic is up over 30 percent and Canadian Pacific has increased the length of freight trains from 7,000 to over 10,000 feet.

The village’s elementary and high school student population is over 3,000 during the school year and activities continue over the summer on the north side of the tracks.

Ambulance No. 2’s response times have more than doubled since moving from it to Station No. 3 in 2010. Response times went from three minutes and 22 seconds in 2008-2009, to six minutes and 44 seconds in 2012-2013.

Two previous studies concluded that Station No. 3, was no longer needed after the Grand Avenue underpass was completed in 2007.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss this and any other department related issues or concerns.

Steven P. Iovinelli

Fire Chief

Franklin Park

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