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updated: 2/22/2013 6:05 PM

Steven Gustafson: Candidate Profile

Hampshire Fire Board (6-year Terms)

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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

 

Bio

City: Hampshire

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Hampshire Fire Board (6-year Terms)

Age: 61

Family: My wife Linda and I have been married for 36 years. We have two children and 6 grandchildren.

Occupation: Sales

Education: Hampshire High School Class of 1969. Numerous firefighting certifications and advanced Fire District Trustee training through the Office of the State Fire Marshall.

Civic involvement: 4-H volunteer at Kane Co. Fair. Member of the Hampshire Snowmobile Club.

Elected offices held: Hampshire Township Trustee 1985-Current

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Ensure fiscal accountability through a budget that is sustainable and doesn't create a future burden.

Key Issue 2

Prioritize maintaining current staffing levels and continued employee training during upcoming periods of decreasing budgets.

Key Issue 3

Seek alternative revenue through state and Federal grants.

Questions & Answers

Name the three most important goals or objectives this board should tackle in the coming term. Prioritize them, and briefly discuss why you believe each to be critical, and how the board should go about addressing them.

The most important objective of the fire district board for the upcoming term will be to ensure budget responsibility and long-term sustainability. I will not jeopardize the future of the fire district to offer quick and easy fixes to current revenue reductions. The next objective of the board is to continually improve current levels of service during a period of shrinking annual budgets. The current administration has demonstrated the ability to deliver comprehensive training to the firefighters by creating innovative in-house training programs that are also cost effective. I support this and will continue to ensure the firefighters and administration has the tools and resources to continue to build upon these training initiatives. Training and education for the staff are typically among the first things to be cut during budget reductions. Any lack of training or education directly and negatively impact the services provided to the community. The third objective of the board is to seek and obtain alternative sources of funding to help offset decreasing revenue. There are many state and federal grants that assist in providing essential equipment to fire departments, and Hampshire Fire will continue to be active and persistent in obtaining these grants.

How should the fire protection district improve its services?

Increasing staffing levels is not a viable option for the next few years with the projected revenue. The ways to improve services for our community is to continue to prioritize employee training and to support and enhance our Public Education and Fire Prevention programs. One of the best ways to serve our community is to prevent emergencies through fire safety education. Our district has one of the best Fire Prevention programs in the area. Our public education, combined with our business Life Safety Inspections, allows our firefighters to reach children, adults, and business owners in the community to educate and promote safe practices. Firefighter/paramedics are exposed to a very wide array of emergencies and need to be prepared for such diverse conditions. This preparation is achieved through a comprehensive training program. The Hampshire firefighters have built a thorough training program that I will continue to prioritize and ensure is given adequate support from the Fire Board.

Are you satisfied with the district's response times? If yes, please explain; if no, please offer your suggestions on how to improve.

Given our current budget, I am satisfied with the response times. The only way to improve our response times would be to construct a second station in the northern half of our district. The district does own land to build a future 2nd station, but the current budget does not support this construction or the additional staffing. 7 years ago, the department evolved from firefighters responding from their homes, to having both an ambulance and fire engine staffed 24/7. This progress greatly reduced response times and I will ensure these staffing levels are maintained.

What specific background or experience do you bring that makes you the best qualified candidate to serve on the fire district board?

I have 36 years of experience as a paid-on-call firefighter in Hampshire. I also have 28 years of budget and levy experience. This combination allows me to help make certain the district remains fiscally responsible while continually improving services. As a current district trustee, I have demonstrated dedication to this position by not missing a single board meeting over the past 6 years. I have also put in the additional time and effort to complete all necessary training for the Pension Fund as mandated by Illinois statute.

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Candidate did not respond.

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