Kelly Hails Passage of Fire Department Promotion Reform Bill
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Michael J. Kelly, D-Chicago, is hailing the recent passage of a bill that promises to overhaul the outdated and sluggish promotion system long in place within the Chicago Fire Department.
“This bill is a win for Chicago’s brave first responders because it fixes, at long last, a system which has been broken for decades,” Kelly said. “For far too long, Chicago firefighters have asked for solutions and have instead been given excuses, rationalizations and spin. A broken system of promotions is a broken system of incentive and reward, and leads to low morale, skill and brain drain as well as losses of efficiency and effectiveness when the best people languish in roles for which they are overqualified, rather than advancing into positions from which they can lead.”
Kelly supported Senate Bill 1707, which removes exemptions which prevented the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) from being subject to the same mandated promotion processes as fire departments throughout the rest of the state. It now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature.
The CFD will now join all other Illinois fire departments in being required to create promotion lists based on transparent metrics like test scores, seniority and professional examinations. Advocates, including Kelly, say this will help solve long standing problems that have led to firefighters seeing their promotions unduly delayed due to bureaucratic inertia and meddling.
“We owe it to the firefighters who keep our families safe every single day to tell city bureaucrats and lobbyists ‘Enough Is Enough,’” Kelly said. “It’s one thing if a problem takes time to solve, or a goal takes time to implement, but the City and the Fire Department have been playing the same broken record for a generation, and nothing has changed. They’ve failed to fix it themselves, so we are taking over and we are fixing it. First responders deserve a functioning advancement system, which is why today’s action is long overdue.”
Kelly’s office is reachable at 773-736-0218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.