Bridgeview Fire Chief Keith Grzadziel reviews with Trustee Pat Higginson an internship program the village entered into with Moraine Valley Community College. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Bridgeview Fire Chief Keith Grzadziel reviews with Trustee Pat Higginson an internship program the village entered into with Moraine Valley Community College. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Bridgeview Fire Department partners with Moraine Valley Community College

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By Steve Metsch

The Bridgeview Fire Department has signed on with Moraine Valley Community College for a firefighter internship program with an eye on future hires.

Village officials hope this will result in well-trained men and women joining the fire department.

The Moraine Valley Fire Service Internship Program is for students who want to become firefighters, Fire Chief Keith Grzadziel said.

The village board on July 19 approved the agreement with the college that won’t cost Bridgeview a penny.

“This has been utilized by North Palos and Roberts Park fire districts, and the Chicago Ridge Fire Department,” Grzadziel said.

“Great results, too,” Trustee Pat Higginson noted.

“It’s definitely going to be a benefit to the department,” she said. “They already know they want to do this and will be (trained) the right way.”

Grzadziel agreed, noting that the afore-mentioned fire departments “have hired several firefighters who graduated through this program because they come out as certified firefighters.”

Bridgeview has a couple of vacancies in the fire department now, he said, adding “this will help for the future as far as prospective hires.”

The students have to complete the Moraine Valley Fire Academy and will then serve internships with the fire department. After the 11-week internship period, they can be hired, he said.

Grzadziel called the program “a no-brainer because they know the ins and outs of the department, the operations.”

In recent weeks, the village has been free of big fires, he said, “but we’ve had some nasty wrecks on Harlem (Avenue).”

There also was a freak power outage caused when a mylar balloon got caught up in transmission supply line, resulting “in an outage in a big quadrant of Bridgeview.”

In other business, the village board approved a modest hike in the water and sewer rates, effective immediately.

The water rate is now $9.93 for each 1,000 gallons up to 500,000 gallons; $8.15 per 1,000 gallons from 500,000 to 1 million gallons: and $6.75 per 1,000 gallons in excess of 1 million gallons.

The minimum charge is $29.79 per month per unit.

The board had no choice after Chicago raised the rate it charges Bridgeview for water, Trustee Claudette Struzik said.

The sewer rate is now $1.90 per 1,000 gallons for the first 2,000 gallons; and $1.18 per 1,000 gallons in excess of 2,000 gallons.

The minimum charge will be $3.80 per month for each dwelling and commercial unit.

The village board also approved hiring Ron Moran as assistant electrical inspector.

“They’re two part-timers. Sometimes we don’t get to everything. The other one will be appointed at the next meeting,” Mayor Steve Landek said.

“Ron had filled in for his father, who was the electrical inspector for years. His father passed away. Ron took over,” the mayor said.

Moran is a union electrician with IBEW Local 134, Landek said.

Bridgeview avoided major damage in the July 12 tornado that swept through the area, but did lend a public works truck to Countryside to help with cleaning up there.

“We’re trying to help out. If everyone helps out, it’s not so bad,” Landek said.

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