Rockford Scanner stands behind Chief Hallstrom and the North Park Fire Department. Chief Hallstrom posted a statement on social media earlier today and Rockford Scanner stands behind Chief Hallstrom and the North Park Fire Department. Keep up the good work NPFD. You guys do an awesome job keeping the city safe. Next time you wash your cars, call me I will come help wash them with you! Stay safe and keep up the good work!
Chief Hallstrom statement:
This afternoon, I received a phone call from a concerned citizen complaining that one of our volunteer personnel was washing his car outside of one of our fire stations and wasting tax payer money. I feel this needs to be addressed on a larger scale, so here it is.
For those that do not know, North Park Fire is staffed primarily by volunteer personnel, who do not earn an hourly wage for their services on nights and weekends. And by staffed, I mean we have personnel in house in a fire station ready to respond to calls for assistance, so our response times are very good. We do staff three part time paid personnel weekdays from 6a to 6p to compensate for when most folks are at their full time jobs, but the firefighters that run calls nights and weekends receive a very minimal annual stipend for their services that amounts to very little vs. the hours they contribute.
Our annual revenue was under $720,000 for 2015 from property taxes. We ran 1557 calls last year. For comparison, the next busiest fire department in the county runs around 1,900 calls a year, but with a property tax income over $3,000,000. No, that’s not a typo. North Park Fire’s residents get a very large bang for the buck, especially with you start looking at comparable departments. We do not waste your tax dollars.
As a volunteer based organization, we’re focused on retention of the quality personnel that have made North Park Fire a home. So if you see a firefighter washing his car, or with a personal vehicle pulled into one of the bays being maintained or repaired, etc. – it is because it is the least we can do to support our folks that give so much to our community. If you disagree with our efforts to reward and give incentives to our firefighters, or if you wish to further discuss the matter, feel free to call the office and speak to me at 815-636-3051. As always I’m happy to hear your concerns and discuss them with you, as it seems most complaints are based on incorrect assumptions or misinformation.
Thanks for reading this far! Chief Joel Hallstrom