Firefighters forgo training as IL budget battle looms - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Firefighters forgo training as IL budget battle looms

OLIVE BRANCH, IL (KFVS) -

The state of Illinois has operated for 125 days with no budget, as of Saturday night.

When Governor Bruce Rauner came into office this year, He faced a $9 Billion state deficit, and proposed a budget widely viewed as too severe.

Many services in Illinois have gone without funding during negotiations which is causing many to shut down.

Now, some Illinois firefighters will be asked to respond to dangerous situations without the proper training.

Volunteer firefighters in Illinois have traditionally relied on state-funded training, since the individuals are occupied full-time elsewhere, and only respond on an as-needed basis.

Horseshoe lake in Alexander Co was scheduled to have a training on Saturday, which would have covered specialized techniques, protocols, and safety regulations.

It also would have drilled students on the equipment they’re asked to operate on every job.

“Most of them have not been on any fire department before” explained Horseshoe Lake fire chief Michael Honey, “so they need additional training..or any training they can get.”

“If they haven’t been trained on it, they aren’t gonna do it.” Said assistant chief Anthony Smith, “So if that task is fighting a housefire… what if there’s a person in there, trapped, someone’s not trained, and by the time we figure out how to get to them it’s too late?”

22 regional volunteer and full-time firefighters signed up for Saturday’s class, inlcuding five brand new recruits from Horseshoe lake’s fire department.

SIU political science professor and Paul Simon Public Policy Institute director David Yepsen says the way things are going, a decision on the Illinois State Budget might not be until sometime in 2016.

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