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North Riverside Mayor Suggests Privatizing Village Fire Department

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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Suburb May Privatize Fire Department

fire flames generic North Riverside Mayor Suggests Privatizing Village Fire Department
WBBM 780/105.9FM

(CBS) -- Under financial pressure, the mayor of suburban North Riverside says the village is considering a plan to privatize its fire department.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

Mayor Hubert E. Hermanek Jr. says having a private firm take over the village’s firefighting duties could save taxpayers more than $700,000 in pension payments, health insurance and more.

He says Paramedic Services of Illinois, which has handled North Riverside’s ambulance calls for three decades, could take over fire protection seamlessly.

“All the firefighters, if this proposal goes through, would be offered jobs with PSI. They’d wear the same uniforms, they’d be doing exactly what they do now. They’d have the same chief,” Hermanek says.

PSI is working up a proposal. The mayor concedes some residents are skeptical, but appear to come around once he explains the idea to them.