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updated: 2/23/2011 3:46 PM

Henry Clemmensen: Candidate Profile

East Dundee, Countryside fire protection

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  • Henry Clemmensen, running for East Dundee, Countryside fire protection

    Henry Clemmensen, running for East Dundee, Countryside fire protection




Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: East Dundee


Office sought: East Dundee, Countryside fire protection

Age: 60

Family: I am single with two children, three grandchildren from my daughter and my son is currently deployed with the Navy.

Occupation: I have over 35 years in the Fire Service, from a paramedic to a fire Chief. I have been employeed by the Palatine Rural Fire District as Fire chief for the last ten years, after a twenty-seven year career with the Hoffman Estates Fire Department.

Education: I have a BA Degree from NIU, and MPA studies from NIU. A Certified Fire Officer I, II, and III through the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Have attended several training classes through the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD.

Civic involvement: I have been very active at both the state and federal level reference fire service legislation as a member of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association Excutive Board and most recently, Vice-President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs in Fairfax, VA.

Elected offices held: Currently serving as a Fire District Trustee with East Dundee after being appointed in January of 2008 and elected for a two year term in April of 2009. Elected as the 2nd Vice president of the International Fire Chiefs. Board member of the my local homeowners association.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: I have never been arrested or convicted for any type of crime.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Providing the Fire District with the proper funding to be able to provide all residents of the Fire District with the highest level of Fire and EMS protection.

Key Issue 2

Providing the Fire District with stations and equipment that allows the firefighters to operate safely and respond quickly to all emergencies within the District, while maintaining a fiscally responsible budget.

Key Issue 3

To encourage and make available to all Fire District employees and trustees the proper training and education to preform their jobs. Set minimum levels of certifications for everyone from the Fire Chief down to the newest firefighter.

Questions & Answers

What makes you the best candidate for the job?

My education, years of experience in the fire service, and my desire to make sure the residents of our community have the best possible care when they call 911.

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?

I am running for re-election as a Fire District Trustee to be able to continue with some of the improvements that we as a Board have started over the last three years. Since being elected as a Trustee, all the Board members have completed the Fire District Trustee Certification program through the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal, signed the District's first labor contract with Local 4684. Over the last two years, the District paid off a high interest ambulance loan and paid down the debit with our Health Insurance Co-Op in order to take advantage of lower premiums for both the employees and the District, this all being done without decreasing our reserve fund.

Talking with your friends and neighbors, what seems to be their biggest fire safety concern? Explain the concern as you see it, and discuss how you think it should be addressed.

During these economic times, it is extremely important to provide a high level of Fire and EMS service while not spending more than the revenue.

In these tight economic times, budgets have to be prioritized. Where, if anywhere, could the current budget be trimmed, and conversely, are there areas the budget does not give enough money to?

All across this country, the Fire Service is seeing budget cuts and reduced manning. One area that our Dundee area needs to concentrate on is more regionalization between the all the area fire departments. The East Dundee Fire District recently approved an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to share a reserve fire engine with one of our neighboring municipal fire departments, but we need to do more of this. We need to take advantage of the economy of scale and operate more as single larger fire department and not a bunch of small independent departments with duplication of equipment and services.

Would you support sharing/pooling resources (i.e. printing, vehicles) with other local governments (school districts, village, etc.)? If so, what areas would you consider combining or merging to save money or improve efficiency

The East Dundee Fire District has already done some of this with a shared 911 Center between East Dundee, West Dundee, Rutland Dundee, and Carpentersville, called Quad-Com. As I stated above, the Board recently approved an IGA for a shared fire engine and we are looking at other ways to share resources. For years there have been discussions on how to merger or regionalize the three Dundee fire departments, but progress has been very slow. These current economic times make it even more appealing for regionalization of Fire and EMS services for the Dundee area, and still provide the same high level of emergency services at a reduced or same cost to the taxpayers. Other areas of the country have been successfully merging and regionalizing fire departments for years, and there is no reason it wouldn't be successfully in the Dundee Community.