McCook, IL Firefighters Protest Over Private Ambulance Service Take Over

Two videos from Todd Sherman of McCook, IL firefighters demonstrating against the city. The City of McCook recently laid them off and privatized the fire department to Kurtz Ambulance Service. Please help support our Brothers and share this article. It seems to be a common theme now days to privatize the ambulance and fire department services to save a buck. Chicago Fire Wire is run by firefighters and supports all municipal run fire departments. Please share this article and help these brothers out!

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“McCook will ask voters this month to disband the village’s fire department and join the Pleasantview Fire Protection District. 

“Because we have so little retail and we are stuck with an industrial tax base, we are no longer able to support a fire department,” said Jeff Tobolski, mayor of the village which has a population of only 228 as of the 2010 census. 

Tobolski said the village has been managing a deficit of about $1.5 million for a number of years, but efforts to increase the retail base failed when Walmart pulled out of a plan a few years ago to build a Sam’s Club in town, which would have generated more than $1 million a year in taxes. 

“Our tax base is where it is and that limits what it will allow us to do,” he said. 

Tobolski said the nine-person fire department costs the village $1.2 million per year. 

He said everyone except the chief is a part-time firefighters and none of them is a trained paramedic. 
“We offered to send two a year for paramedic training, but they did not embrace the idea,” he said.

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