Sunday, February 19, 2012

Uptown Firehouse On The Chopping Block?

From CBS2:
"Major budget cuts being planned for Chicago’s Fire Department could lead to fewer firehouses, fewer firefighters, or both.  The choices facing Mayor Emanuel’s new fire commissioner aren’t pleasant, CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports. [...]

Merging slower houses like Wilson Avenue in Uptown with others would reduce the number of fire houses and firefighters on duty the same way the ranks of police officers and police stations have been cut."
Anyone who lives near Wilson and Racine will undoubtedly take issue with the statement that Wilson is a "slow house."  We realize the city is broke, but cutting back on fire services seems draconian and dangerous.

In particular, we disagree with closing a firehouse that is mere blocks from two concert venues -- the Riviera and Aragon -- where thousands regularly gather, and where there are hopes of another venue re-opening within the decade.  We also question the wisdom of closing a fire station that serves a large community college, as well as a neighborhood that has so many turn-of-the-century residential hotels that now provide housing for the disabled and elderly.

What to do?  Read the article to see what Ald. Nick Sposato, himself a Chicago firefighter, is saying.  It wouldn't hurt to drop a line to Ald. Cappleman and Mayor Emanuel (click their names for their contact information) to let them know how you feel about retaining Uptown's fire station.

This is Chicago... communities that don't make noise don't get noticed.  It'll take five minutes to send an email, and it may make a huge difference.  


  1. Hmm. Uptown, Edgewater, Lakeview/Lincoln Park. All those older highrises without sprinklers and apparently elevators that do not shut down properly after an alarm is pulled.

    Hey Cappleman, before considering cutting out our lakefront fire stations, please make sure that the highrises are fixed.

  2. Close a fire station in Uptown-are they loosing their minds?

  3. I don't get it. In December 2010 when the firehouse was featured on "Chicago's Best" for the chili cook off, it was stated that "the Uptown firehouse is the busiest house in the whole city, and the fifth busiest in the country." Um yeah, let's close that one down right away!

  4. I hope that concerned Uptown residents and business/institutions contact Jay Levine of CBS and his false reporting about how little the firehouse at 1200 Wilson does. Ask the people whose homes and High Rise apts are on fire. When they are fleeing firefighters are RUNNING IN to save their family and loved ones. When sickness or injury, calamity or catastrophe strikes firemen and paramedics risk their own safety to save another. I dont think that the residents of 1219 lawrence who were involved in the fire 2/18 or the countless people rescued out of high rise elevators or the woman pulled out of Montrose Harbor on 2/19 by firefighters who dove into the icy water to save her

  5. It is going to be a rough year for the Mayor and the City of Chicago. At least three big time service industries all are up for new contracts, Teachers, Police and Fire. It is important to separate the facts from all the "leaks" from the Mayors office. All three of these industries will be dumped on by the mayor for not using city money wisely. Lots of plans will be thrown out to see how the public reacts to them. Hard to tell what will happen in the end. All I know is that not having enough police is costing each and every one of us in Chicago daily. Doing the same with the fire department or public schools may save money in the budget but will cost us more in quality of life for years to come.

    Don't allow the Mayor or his public relations department badmouth those who give their lives to assisting those who need assistance.

  6. "Hey Cappleman, before considering cutting out our lakefront fire stations, please make sure that the highrises are fixed."

    I don't think Cappleman is in favor of closing firehouses. As far as I know, it was CBS2's suggestion that this "little used" firehouse be closed. But I'm still writing to James and Rahm to loudly voice that we need our firehouse. Preemptive strike, you know?

  7. I could care less about the teachers union with all it`s wasteful spending they shove on my realestate taxes. I do care when it comes to firefighters and policeman. They should have number one priority at any or all costs.

  8. Well, Wiseguy, it won't be long before what they are doing to the teachers extends to the police and firefighters unions. I am a member of the CTU but by no means consider myself a full supporter of it. Having said that, what is happening to teachers and clinicians who work in the Chicago public school system is wrong. The union needs massive reform, and that goes for the police and firefighters unions too. Do you really think that they aren't mismanaging funds? LIke I said, if they bust up the teacher's union, the police and firefighters are next.

  9. I pray they bust up the Teachers is a cesspool of graft and laziness paid for by taxpayers via union dues paid by teachers who in turn, are paid by us... bust the damn teachers union down completely, then let them start over from the bottom up. Keep the good teachers, throw out the rest...

  10. Wiseguy,

    I don't always agree with the CTU either, but it is not the CTU "wasting money" that cause your taxes to increase. It is CPS and the central office that makes those kinds of decisions. If the CTU is wasting money it is the money of the members who pay dues to it, not you.

  11. Union-busting? Yea, how dare those people work together to collectively bargain! They are mismanaging money and need to be broken up asap!

    What's that? The state of IL has the worst credit rating in all of the U.S. of A? Chicago politicians are mismananing our taxes (not other peoples due's)?!?!? Spending money that doesn't exist?!?!?

    Oh who cares, bust up them unions! We're tired of seeing people stand up for their rights!


  12. Jay Levine called the "firehouse on Wilson in Uptown" a slow fire house that should be cut, WTF?!?!?

    Looks like Jays doing Rahms bidding in turning public perception against CFD.

    Just for the record the call volume for that house yearly is well over 10,000 EMS/Fire calls a year (each and every year).

    If you don't want to wait an additional 6-8 min. while your place burns or a love one is having a medical crisis PLEASE follow those links and write your alderman!!!!!

  13. Don't forget having that fire station means there are more eyes on the street as well. When the weather is warmer, usually they have the door open and a couple of the firefighters are usually there sitting out enjoying the weather and more importantly, seeing what is going on in the neighborhood. It hopefully discourages some of the usual monkey business going on over there by the neighborhood knuckleheads.

  14. I totally support keeping the firehouse.

  15. This is waht I emailed to the mayor and alderman. "I'm a voter in your ward and I oppose cutting ANY First Responder servives like Fire/EMS, Police and 911 operators before cutting NON-ESSENTIAL like the number of alderman + staff. If one compare Chicago to other large cities' Fire/EMS services, we are on par with staffing yet they have MUCH SMALLER city councils." J Levine and other "journalists" need to check their facts. NYFD has 4FF AND 1 officer on most trucks/engines also some have 5FF and 1 officer. CFD staffing calls for 4FF and 1 officer. New York has 8 million citizens and 20 councilmen, while Chicago has 2.9 million people with 50 aldermen and staff. Where can you cut??????

  16. I wrote an email to Alderman Cappleman and his response is below. I wouldn't worry so much after reading this:

    "I spoke with Fire Commissioner Santiago and he assured me that there
    were no plans to close the Uptown Fire Station. If I hear any updates
    regarding potential closures, I will publicize it in my weekly email

    Thank you for contacting me about the Uptown Fire Station. If you have
    additional questions or concerns about this issue or any other issue
    regarding the 46th Ward, please feel free to contact me or my office.


    Alderman James Cappleman
    46th Ward
    4544 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640