Bourbonnais Firefighters Seek $127 Support from Residents to Combat Worker Exodus this November

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Bourbonnais, IL – Facing a critical shortage of emergency personnel, the Bourbonnais Fire Protection District is urging over 36,000 residents to back a pivotal referendum this November. 

With a proposed .21% tax rate increase, translating to an additional $127 annually from average $200,000 homeowners, the district aims to curb the exodus of skilled firefighters and paramedics to higher-paying departments. “This isn’t something we want to do, this is something we need to do,” explains Randy Myers, President of the District. “The District is having an extremely tough time hiring and retaining qualified firefighter/paramedics to serve residents in our fire district.”

This financial initiative is crucial for the district to offer competitive salaries and stop the steady drain of experienced emergency personnel. Fire Chief Jim Keener underscores the severity of the situation, “I’m sure someone having a medical emergency like a heart attack prefers having two fully certified paramedics on the ambulance during what can be a 15-minute ride to the hospital.” This loss not only strains resources but also affects the quality and responsiveness of emergency services in Bourbonnais.

Approval of the referendum would enable the district to break this cycle, ensuring that it can maintain and attract the skilled workforce necessary for high-quality emergency response. It’s a call to action for residents to invest in their community’s safety and well-being by supporting the funding initiative.

For further information or to support the referendum, community members are encouraged to contact Chief Jim Keener at (815) 693-2164 or President Randy Myers at (815) 278-2284.

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