First responders, second thoughts

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The other day I noted two Oak Park fire trucks parked at Pete's (Unit 602 from the Augusta station and the behemoth Unit 631, probably from the main station). A good half dozen or more first responders were shopping and having a beverage. One wonders why firemen get to shop on company time — the rest of us have to shop on our own time. Bad union contract, I imagine. 

One wonders why it is acceptable to drive fire trucks to the grocery — the rest of us have to drive our own vehicles, and, from an environmental standpoint, fire trucks get awesomely bad fuel mileage. 

If the alleged answer is that fire personnel on duty have to have their equipment with them, let me point out that Pete's delivers and would probably even waive the delivery fee for first responders.

Bob Stigger

Oak Park

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Jason Cohen  

Posted: July 23rd, 2018 4:02 PM

I don't even understand the issue here. Don't firefighters live at the station when on duty? Don't they all eat together while staying at the station? This means that they of course shop while on duty as it's for eating while living at the station. These people help all of us and spend their money in our community. I really don't understand this post at all.

Ada Johnson Tikkanen  

Posted: July 23rd, 2018 2:30 PM

I appreciate this post b/c it makes me realize how completely stupid half the comments I make truly are.

Heinz Schuller from Oak Park  

Posted: July 22nd, 2018 8:37 PM

Wow. Fire & Police are part of our community, and need to eat. We enjoy excellent protection in our village, and it's these people who dedicate themselves and work hard to make it possible. I've seen our fire dept. in action many times, just last month saved a neighbor's house thanks to fast response and efficient skills. The right response in this case would've been to smile, wave, and thank them for having our backs.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: July 22nd, 2018 6:12 PM

One doesn't have to wonder. One could just contact the village and ask. That said, I believe the answer is something to the effect of, on duty fire fighters have to eat, so they have to buy groceries, and if they DIDN'T take a fire vehicle with them to the grocery store, should an alarm be sounded. they'd have to be picked up. As for the Chicago cops, you could say the same thing about Elmwood Park and River Forest. Chicago officers go to neighboring towns because, one, there are far more restaurants there than on the city's westside, and two, those neighboring towns are much safer places to eat without having to worry about getting shot during lunch or dinner just because you're a cop.

Phil Carmody from Oak Park  

Posted: July 22nd, 2018 3:26 PM

Hello, Bob. I'm not sure if you're actually looking for answers to these questions or if this is your way of making a point. As a firefighter, I can assure that these matters have nothing to do with union contracts. As a resident of OP, I would offer another thought for you to consider in your presumptions/suggestions. These firefighters choose to spend their hard-earned dollars in town where those dollars support the economy of the local community that they serve. Figure that you saw 6 members at the store. That's typically $10 per day for meals x 6 members x 365 days per year. For just those 2 crews, that's almost $22K in money spent on food at stores in OP. Another thought would be for you to strike up a conversation with one of these first responders to see if they can't answer your 'questions' about the wheres and whys of their movements, including meal planning, union contracts, diesel emissions and the like. I'd also go out on a limb to say I'm sure they'd love for you to broker a deal with Pete's for free delivery so that they can dedicate their time otherwise.

Franklin Jackson  

Posted: July 18th, 2018 10:47 AM

I think we should be more outraged by the number of Chicago Police cars that don't belong in Oak Park vs our own civil servants.

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