A conversation is reigniting over the most effective way to help people in case of a fire.
Firefighters in Peoria said they are willing and able to help their fellow firefighters battle blazes and save lives.
“This about response times,” Ryan Brady, of Peoria Fire local 50, said. “Response times, response times, response times.”
Response times are crucial and something firefighters take very seriously, as does the City of Peoria.
“This is not about full time vs. part time firefighters,” Mayor Jim Ardis said. “It’s about how we respond to fires, especially fires when they are residential in nature for the most part, and there is potential for a lost life.”
Peoria leaders said it’s time to take a look at their protocols to see if what worked 10 years ago still works today.
“I’m appealing the fire professionals and the fire volunteers to sit down and make sure putting all your differences and putting the pride aside,” Ardis said. “Make sure that the person whose life is potentially in danger has an opportunity to survive a fire.”
“At the end of the day, all the rhetoric and all the negativity that kind of gets wrapped into something when it shouldn’t, gets pushed to the side and everybody can sit down because regardless of the brown outs… regardless of the issues we have… we’re still able to help,” Brady said.
Brady and Ardis said they’re on the same side of the volunteers, fighting for the best possible solution to increase public safety and those fighting the flames.
“It’s been going on for a number of years,” Ardis said. “Nothing has changed and we’re still having the unfortunate situations with the deaths that we’ve been having and its inexcusable. Neither side is right or wrong, the conversation has to be had.”
“Fire doesn’t burn any different for us, nor does it burn any different for [volunteer firefighters],” Brady said. “This comes down to response times, firefighter safety, and citizen safety and it’s a domino effect.”
WMBD did reach out to several other fire departments, like Peoria Heights, West Peoria, Brimfield, Chillicothe, Limestone and a few more. Either WMBD never heard back, or they said they just aren’t comfortable yet giving their opinions on the matter.