On Wednesday, the Stone Park Fire Chief notified his employees that he will be outsourcing their work and closing up the fire department immediately after the New Year. The memo from the Chief came just days after learning that the 13 firefighters/paramedics that work for the Stone Park Fire Department had filed a majority interest petition with the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB) to be represented by Teamsters Local 700.
On Dec. 2, 2019, the Stone Park Fire Department issued a memo from the Deputy Chief that the department was now accepting applications for firefighters/paramedics. The ILRB petition for Teamster representation of the current employees was filed on Dec. 5, 2019.
The Chief sent out another memo on Dec. 18, 2019 notifying the current firefighters and paramedics that starting in January, their work would be outsourced to the Melrose Park Fire Department due to the best interests of the taxpayers of Stone Park.
“The Chief first put out applications for firefighters/EMS and then not even two weeks later says that the Village doesn’t have the funds to support the fire department anymore,” said Teamsters Local 700 President Michael G. Melone. “From our experience, this move is not only despicable but puts the residents of Stone Park at risk. Outsourcing the fire department to a nearby town means higher response times when it comes to emergencies. The Chief must think that the lives of the people in Stone Park aren’t worth the extra nuisance of having the union around. All of the residents in Stone Park should be extremely concerned and should be asking the Village and the Mayor why they are allowing this to happen.”