Questions? Contact us today.
Questions? Contact us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people work at WFPD?
- WFPD employs the minimum state-required staff: two people in an ambulance and three in a fire engine; a total of 5 per shift, 24-hours a day. All staff are cross-trained. For instance, if a fire call in the unincorporated area of the district requires the water truck to haul water, the ambulance crew will jump into the Tender truck to haul water- but then we have nobody to operate the ambulance.
- Four of the 5 people per shift must be paramedics.
- One of the five has to be either an officer or a designated acting officer.
- Of the five people, one position is supposed to be filled by a part-time member.
- If one of the full-time members is off on a vacation, a part-time member can work that shift as well. So while at full strength, there is one part-time position, we can have a maximum of two part-time members on duty if one of the full-time members is off.
Has anyone discussed dissolving the WFPD and merging with other fire departments?
- Our fire district operates at significantly lower rates than neighboring departments. Even if the proposed referendum passes, our rates will still be less than what you would pay if you were transferred to a neighboring district:
Local tax rates: 2019 year Amount paid for $300,000 house Winfield 0.3637 $363.70 Winfield Proposed 2020 0.6722 $672.20 Carol Stream 0.7694 $769.40 West Chicago 0.9295 $929.50
- Dissolving the Winfield Fire Protection District would divide the current residents to their nearest neighbor. Each resident would then be automatically assigned the tax rate of the Fire District they were absorbed into. Those tax rates will be higher than the proposed WFPD referendum proposed tax rate.
- If the referendum is failed and WFPD files bankruptcy, your taxes would increase when you are reassigned by the State Fire Marshal to a nearby fire district with a higher rate than the one proposed in this referendum.
If the referendum is passed, your tax rates would still be lower than what neighboring communities pay and you would maintain local control of elected trustees.
- A yes vote for the referendum is a vote to keep your taxes from raising as high as other nearby residents.
Why does a fire truck show up with an ambulance?
- Sometimes a fire crew is dispatched to assist a medical call; this is done when additional assistance is needed. Because we only have one ambulance crew, the fire crew will have their fire equipment with them in case they need to respond to a fire call while assisting on the medical call.
- Every event is assigned a service ticket number when you call 911 by DuPage Public Safety Communications (Du-COM). No matter how many trucks and crews are sent to an event, each event has one ticket number.
Why does WFPD have cash reserves when it is asking for a referendum?
- WFPD has never borrowed money to buy equipment or build/repair buildings. These purchases have always been made with cash (which requires saving every year). However, due to ongoing increasing expenses with a flat income level, cash reserves are now being utilized to cover operating expenses. Equipment is breaking down more frequently and reserves are disappearing quickly.
- There is no longer money being placed into reserve. Because we face significant equipment failures due to their age, our reserves will be depleted as soon as a major expense occurs. At the July trustees meeting, it was reported that the reserves will be depleted in only a couple of years at the rate we are using those funds to cover both operating costs and emergency equipment repairs.
How is new equipment purchased?
- WFPD has never carried debt for large purchases. Every truck and building has always been paid for with cash. When vehicles are purchased with cash, significant savings can be negotiated in the purchase price, saving taxpayer money.
How many people will be hired if the referendum passes?
- WFPD has 15 full-time crew members. If the referendum passes, an additional 5 full-time staff would be hired (at 3 per shift) to serve at the South station and capable of operating both ambulance and fire trucks.
Why should we hire full time staff and not more part time staff?
- We employ 15 part-time crew to fill in as needed. Part time crew average a 33 % turnover rate. Each year we hire and train 3-5 new staff, who often leave when they find full time work.
- WFPD has sponsored 5 individuals through the Fire Academy this past year, and one of them has already accepted a full-time position with another department, and the other 4 are actively testing in the hopes of doing the same.
Why do we spend so much on overtime?
- The challenging nature of fire fighting has led to two full-time staff out of work on medical recovery. This has led to large overtime costs to staff our operation.
- Because of the current staff shortage (and workload), staff must work overtime. During the current calendar year, staff have already worked 3400 hours of overtime (at 1.5x overtime pay).
© Save the Winfield Fire Department, 2021
Save Winfield Fire Department is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Winfield Fire Protection District.
A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.