Saturday, October 29th, 2022
On Oct 29, Engine 435 responded to assist with a structure fire in Harristown.
Monday, October 24th, 2022
438 responded to an early morning fire alarm at a local hotel due to a malfunctioning elevator hydraulic pump. Crew ventilated the first floor to remove light haze and smoke. There was no damage to th...

 

Mission Statement

The Hickory Point Fire Protection District (HPFPD) is a professional organization devoted to conserving life and property.

We are dedicated to fire prevention by striving to provide the highest level of community education and service, firefighter training, and fire suppression techniques to the district residents, neighboring communities, and visitors. In addition to these key functions, HPFPD provides emergency medical services, technical rescue, and hazardous materials response.

Election Information

When is Election Day?

  • November 8, 2022

What if you can’t vote on Election Day?

  • Early Voting Location 141 South Main Street – Room 119 Decatur, Illinois (217) 424-1333
  • Open most days from 8:30am to 4:30pm during the week along with some Saturday’s and Sunday’s

How do you register to vote?

Department Information

What was the District’s Rationale in putting the Referendum on the Ballot?

  • In 2021, the Hickory Point Fire Department responded to over 650 calls for service with 381 of those being medical calls where citizens were transported by local agencies. Medical calls for service in the district have increased by 9% in each of the last 3 years in a row with 2022 continuing that trend.
  • In emergency medicine, response time matters. Ambulance response times prior to COVID and when a unit was stationed in Forsyth were usually under 10 minutes.

Due to several factors beyond our control, the ambulance based in Forsyth has not been available consistently for over a year, with the station permanently closing months ago. Transport times began extending based on where the ambulance is coming from.

What is our current staffing of Paramedics and EMT-Basic’s?

  • Our current roster includes 3 Paramedics and 13 Basics. We have a couple Basics in various stages of the Paramedic program.

What have we already done to address the expanding need for medical response in the district?

  • The department has hosted several EMT-Basic courses along with sending members to Richland Community College;
  • Invested and trained members as EMT-Intermediate and Paramedic; and
  • Upgraded our department response and license to Intermediate level response and have been providing those skills for the last 18 months.

Ambulance Operations

If there is an ambulance service based in Decatur, why do we need an ambulance in Forsyth?

  • Ambulance response times have been getting longer and longer. Over the past year, the closing of the Forsyth ambulance post has caused extended delays. The closest ambulance when available is coming from the west end of Decatur. There have also been numerous occasions when there have been no ambulances available in Decatur including last week when a call for service was answered by an ambulance based in Clinton.

If a taxpayer calls for an ambulance, will the ambulance service be free?

  • The ambulance is not actually free. However, Fire District residents transported by the Hickory Point Fire Department should have no “out-of-pocket” expenses. Insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid will be billed. Co-pays should be covered by the levy.

What happens for people that live outside of the fire district?

  • Non-residents, who happen to be in the district when they are transported by medic unit to the hospital, are responsible for co-pays or any portion of the ambulance bill not covered by their insurance.

What is our logistical plan for ambulance response in the district?

  • Our plan is to staff one ambulance with one Paramedic and one EMT-Basic/Firefighter – 24/7/365
  • We will purchase a second ambulance to be mobilized as staffing allows and will be made available to our other Paramedics/EMT’s. This ambulance will have some flexibility with it's use (as a backup unit, first out unit for preventative maintenance, etc.)

What is our service area for our ambulance response?

  • Our primary response will be to the Hickory Point Fire Protection District, which includes the Village of Forsyth along with all taxpayers that reside outside of the village.

What is our staffing plan if the levy is approved?

  • We plan to add up to 6 Paramedic positions and two additional EMT -- Basics (5 total)

What if we need more than one ambulance?

  • Much like fires and other calls for service, should we need additional manpower, mutual aid will be requested from neighboring agencies.

Levy and Finance Information

How is the levy going to be managed?

  • If approved on November 8th, the Fire District will set the levy rate and hold a tentative budget hearing. The tax will be levied on 2023 tax bills.

How will the Referendum facilitate a District run ambulance service?

  • This tax levy is intended to facilitate the startup of the district’s response and is not intended to fully fund ambulance service in the district. Levy funding will be used in conjunction with COVID relief funding to purchase equipment and to hire paid staff.

           Levy funds will be used solely for ambulance operations. Firefighting, fire prevention and other services provided by the Fire District will come out of our general fund.

Will the levy expire?

  • The referendum will not expire but we do plan to put in place a reduction schedule to drop the levy as usage allows. The intent is the ambulance service will be self-funding through user fees, limiting the long-term cost to the Ambulance District.

Can the levy rate go up?

  • Yes, the rate can go up. While we don’t foresee this happening, we do have some room in the levy rate to go up without it being brought back to voters. As with any taxing district, we have certain regulations and rules to follow to ensure our citizens understand what is happening with our district finances.

How will this impact your property taxes?

  • Hickory Point Fire Protection District Ambulance levy tax rate will not exceed 0.2% the first year of levy. For a home worth $200,000 the cost would be approximately $133.00.

With the recent quadrennial reassessment going out from the county, how much will this levy increase our taxes?

  • While taxes are based on home values, exemptions and other information, a home valued at $300,000 will see an increase of approximately $200.00 annually.

Other Information

You are considering a career in emergency care and want to know how to become an EMT or Paramedic?

  • There are several resources and institutions out there that do a great job answering those questions. Richland Community College has several talented educators that can answer your questions and point you in the right direction.

Need More Information

  • Stop by the Station: 450 S. Smith St.  Forsyth, IL 62535 between 8am and 5pm Monday-Friday
  • Call the Station: 217-877-1398
  • Social Media: Facebook or Website
  • Email: levyinformation@hpfpd.org

© 2022 Hickory Point Fire Prot. District