The Lake County News-Sun has an editorial about the current relationship between the Barrington Fire Department and the Barrington Countryside Fire District.

When fire departments compete over who gets what truck and whose salary and pensions come out of which wallet, residents can only hope the debate does not damage the point of having a fire department.

Just put out the fire, save property and protect lives.

Citizens expect the fiscal administration of fire departments to be efficient. But when fire departments argue over jurisdictions and resources, the result can be hard feelings.

Without oversimplifying the tortured separation of firefighting duties around Barrington, it’s safe to say there are hard feelings.

Civic leaders in Antioch eventually resolved decades of feuding over emergency services by merging and ending the debate about overlapping and redundant efforts.

In Barrington, civic leaders took the opposite approach. After arguing for years over who should pay for what service in the 45 square miles around Barrington, the village and its neighboring communities went their own ways.

When the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District officially disconnected from Barrington this year, it was almost all about money. As a “paper district,” it paid Barrington for protecting tony suburbs.

Barrington leaders said they paid too much for fire protection they didn’t use.

The first real test of that divorce decree occurred on April 9. A residential fire broke out at 1025 S. Grove St. that day, and Countryside fire trucks took 5 minutes, 35 seconds to reach the rural address.

The Barrington fire chief said his trucks at a station just down the road could have reached the house in less than three minutes. But Barrington fire trucks were never called even though the departments have reciprocal service agreements.

Barrington’s fire chief said two minutes in a house fire can mean the difference between lives saved and lives lost.

The Countryside fire chief told him to mind his own business.

If anything, the event was a warning, not to the fire departments, but certainly to the people around Barrington.

Dividing fire service may have cured one problem, but it’s caused another, far more dangerous one.

thanks Dan