Posts Tagged Bartlett Fire Protection District

Bartlett Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the Dailyherald.com:

A house fire early Saturday morning in Bartlett did an estimated $150,000 in damage, but no one was injured.

Fire and smoke were visible from the attic and second floor of a single-family home in the 200 block of Hill Avenue when firefighters arrived at about 3:30 a.m. Firefighters searched the smoke-charged building for trapped occupants, but no one was inside.

Firefighters had to open numerous walls and ceilings to ensure the fire was extinguished. The fire was declared under control at 4:15 a.m.

The building is uninhabitable. The cause remains under investigation by Bartlett Fire Protection District investigators, but the fire appears to have begun near a lower-level fireplace.

The fire was fought by 19 firefighters, staffing three engines, two ladder trucks, and two ambulances. Units from the Hanover Park and Bloomingdale Fire Departments assisted at the scene.

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Box Alarm in Streamwood, 6-27-27

Photos from John Tulipano of the Box Alarm fire in a townhouse at 3084 Lynwood Court in Streamwood (6/27/27)

AF5B3943

Picture 1 of 17

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Bartlett Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the Dailyherald.com:

While the village of Bartlett has approved a larger station for its police department, the separate Bartlett Fire Protection District will soon formulate a response to voters’ rejection of a tax hike intended to maintain services at their current level.

Fire district trustees have scheduled a workshop to discuss the financial and operational outlook for the agency at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, at Fire Station 1, 234 N. Oak Ave. in Bartlett. Fire Chief Michael Falese is expected to present the board with options intended to reduce costs.

The district’s entire financial picture will be considered as various options — and their potential impacts on the public — are discussed.

Last month, 3,699 voters cast ballots against the proposed tax increase — 59.5 percent of the total. The district had asked for a 19.5 percent increase in its property tax levy at the end of 2017. Without voter approval, taxing bodies can increase their levies by 5 percent or the rate of inflation — whichever is less.

The proposed tax hike would have added $600,000 per year to the district’s reserves for unexpected contingencies, fill some vacant jobs to avoid current overtime issues, and allow for a third medical unit when the population warrants it.

The district’s revenue has increased only 1 percent from 2009 to 2017, while the number of calls has risen 16 percent, Falese said.

thanks Dan

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Bartlett Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the ChciagoTribune.com:

Bartlett Fire Protection District officials are hoping voters approve a referendum question for a tax increase April 4.

“We’re not asking to build another fire station or to hire more people,” Fire Chief Michael Falese said. “It’s to maintain our three fire stations and the current service level with run volume we have right now.”

Falese spoke to about 25 residents at a public meeting Monday night at Fire Station 1.

The fire district has been cutting corners for the past five years to the point that it can no longer sustain its service level without more revenue.

The proposed referendum will add $33 per $100,000 of assessed valuation to a home in the Cook County portion of Bartlett and $42 for those in the DuPage County part of the village. Officials confirmed Tuesday that the median home value in Bartlett is roughly $262,000, so the proposed annual tax increases for the average household would be $86 in Cook and $110 in DuPage.

The last time the fire district asked for a tax increase was more than a decade ago. Since then, overhead costs for supplies, equipment and fire apparatus have gone up, the population has increased by more than 25 percent and fire alarm costs have risen by at least 16 percent.

The fire district shared a document that enumerated 117 line items of financial efficiencies it has implemented, including searching for better prices, changing types of products and their methods of use, eliminating certain items, extending life spans of equipment, using resources from neighboring agencies, and numerous other cost-cutting measures concerning vehicles, facilities, and ambulance services.

“We’ve explored all our options,” Falese said. “Our water tanker truck has a rusted frame rail structure, but it’s still certified for use. We’re facing a $50,000 repair for a vehicle that’s worth about $27,000, and a replacement could cost $400,000.”

The Bartlett Fire Protection District serves about 52,000 residents and businesses, and 20 percent of its coverage territory lies outside village borders.

The district’s three fire stations are staffed by 45 full-time firefighter-paramedics, 15 part-time firefighter emergency medical technicians and six contract firefighter-paramedics.

Due to budgetary concerns, the assistant fire chief and one firefighter position are vacant. The fire district funding stands at $6.6 million from property taxes and $1.3 million from ambulance service reimbursement.

Fire district board president Jim McCarthy assured residents that the department was being a responsible steward of taxpayer money.

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Bartlett Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Bartlett Fire Protection District Fire Chief Mike Falese says that a property tax increase on the April 4 ballot would add about $33.49 a year to a home in Cook County valued at $100,000 and about $42.84 for a similarly-valued DuPage County and would prevent cuts to services and allow performance at a higher standard. He will address a community meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 20, at Fire Station #1, 234 N. Oak Ave.

While he said the board and fire district staff are not trying to scare voters, the reality now is that cuts have been made and maintenance has been deferred to the point that the situation is much more dire.

“We can perform well and have a good outcome, or we can perform in a way that isn’t as efficient and have a good outcome sometimes,” Falese said.

The questions asks voters to increase the property tax limitation from the state-mandated lesser of 5 percent or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index 19.5 percent for levy year 2017.

Since 2014, the district has used reserve funds for operational expenses and the reserves will be depleted in the 2018 fiscal year. This year, the district already had to spend $50,000 of its reserves just to balance the budget.

To cut expenses, the district has eliminated an assistant fire chief, one full-time firefighter/paramedic position, and reduced the number of paid on-call personnel. Apparatus replacement has been deferred, but can no longer be put off without jeopardizing firefighters and residents.

“We have sold apparatus and reduced equipment to cut expenses. We have modified our health care plan four times to reduce premiums,” Falese said.

Turnout gear, fire hose, and breathing apparatus hasn’t been replaced, and the heat and air conditioning system at Station 1 has not been repaired since one of the three units broke down last summer.

The district covers about 40 square miles, and responds to 4,000 emergency alarms each year from three stations. It’s annual budget is $7.9 million with $6.6 million coming from property taxes and the remainder from ambulance billing. Of that, about $1.1 million is health care costs even though firefighters are picking up a larger portion of the medical insurance cost.

The Medicaid portion of ambulance billing has been dropping and will not increase, Falese said. “We have increased the ambulance fees, but are receiving less,” because of lower Medicaid reimbursements.

Emergency calls are quickly outpacing revenue and expenditure. A new industrial park and senior living residences have increased the call volume.

“If doesn’t pass — we don’t want to it sound like a threat,” Falese said, “we would have to start considering options for 2018 and this year. We will start to look at personnel and facilities to adjust and where we respond from, including the possibility of closing one of the fire stations and rotating crews through the remaining buildings.

“That would be a lesser level of service,” Falese said.

thanks Dan

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As seen around … Bartlett

This from Steve Redick:

Bartlett & Countryside FPD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

Bartlett & Countryside FPD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

Bartlett & Countryside FPD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

Bartlett & Countryside FPD fire truck

Steve Redick photo

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Bloomingdale and Bartlett FPD open houses

This from Tyler Tobolt:

I went to the Bloomingdale and Bartlett open houses today and here are some photos.Bloomingdale rigs changed numbers so here is Engine 21, Engine 23, Tower 23, Medic 21, Medic 23 and also Bartlett changed numbers for the battalion chief and its now Battalion 3 also they have 2 new medics. Medic 2 and Medic 1.
Thanks Tyler Tobolt
fire department battalion chief

Tyler Tobolt photo

ambulance photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

ambulance photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

Pierce fire truck photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

Pierce fire truck photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

ambulance photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

ambulance photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

Pierce fire truck photo

Tyler Tobolt photo

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Bartlett ambulance for sale

This from Kevin Griffin:

Bartlett Ambulance for sale

ambulance for sale

Former Bartlett FPD ambulance for sale. Fenton Fire photo

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An excellent article describing the use of auto-aid

The Courier-News has an article which discusses the physical growth of the City of Elgin and describes how, through automatic-aid agreements the fire department provides service to all areas of their district.

If you live or travel at the edges of Elgin’s boundaries and you’re involved in an accident, need an ambulance or have a fire at your home, there’s a chance the Elgin Fire Department might not be the first responder on the scene.

And there are good public safety reasons for that.

The Elgin department has a number of agreements with other departments and fire protection districts to help ensure that the response to the emergency in question is as prompt as possible.

Elgin Fire Chief John Fahy explained that automatic-aid agreements are approved by the city council and allow for the closest unit, regardless of jurisdiction, to be dispatched to calls for services involving the fire departments or fire districts in question, along with the units from the area of jurisdiction.

Some automatic agreements have been long-standing, such as one between Elgin and the South Elgin & Countryside Fire Protection District. Elgin’s need for them grew as the city and other local towns expanded their boundaries farther out and in sometimes geometrically odd shapes.

That left public safety and public works departments with new areas to cover that could be a good distance from existing stations or headquarters.

In Elgin’s case, the city spread west in patches, as far north as Randall Road and Route 72 between West Dundee and Gilberts; as far south as Silver Glen Road near South Elgin and St. Charles; and northwest toward Pingree Grove. At the same time, to its east, new subdivisions in Bartlett and Hoffman Estates were built closer to Elgin.

As such, Fahy said, “We can’t cover things the way we used to do.” Automatic-aid agreements “are the future of meeting such community needs.”

Elgin now has automatic-aid agreements that are reciprocal in nature with no fewer than six other fire protection agencies, some Elgin has sought, some other entities have initiated.

Examples of automatic-aid agreements initiated by other departments with Elgin include one with the East Dundee Fire Protection District to cover the area north of Interstate 90 and off Route 25. That includes Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and the Milk Pail Restaurant that are in fire district’s boundaries and Elgin’s area that includes the Lexington Inn and business sites off Brandt Drive.

Another is with the South Elgin district, in part so that a pocket of the district near Elgin Community College that is closer for Elgin to handle has faster initial responses.

Farther west, “Crawford and McDonald roads coverage is with South Elgin, as they have a station on McDonald,” Fahy said.

In recent years, Elgin has initiated automatic-aid agreements with the village of West Dundee and its fire department to handle the area north of Interstate 90 along Route 31. It includes hotels and an apartment complex that are in West Dundee, and a gas station and industrial and office space near St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Elgin.

An automatic-aid agreement with Rutland-Dundee Fire Protection District is set up in part to cover north of I-90 off Randall Road. The area includes The Grove business area with its numerous restaurants and the Northwest Corporate Park behind it in Elgin. The village of Sleepy Hollow is just across Randall to the east, and the busy intersection of Route 72 and Randall Road is on the north end.

“We respond to Rutland-Dundee in Sleepy Hollow as well as to the Gilberts subdivision off of Big Timber in return for their 72 and Randall coverage,” Fahy said.

“Our automatic-aid agreement with the Pingree Grove & Countryside Fire Protection District is strictly west on Highland Avenue to cover Highland Woods and along Plank Road where the city annexed the Jack Cook Park.”

An agreement with the Huntley Fire Protection District “is exclusively for response on the tollway during construction. With the inability to cross over or the loss of exit entrance ramps, we respond westbound into Huntley’s district, and they respond eastbound into Elgin’s district. The construction is a two- to three-year project, so we will revisit that agreement once the job is complete,” Fahy said.

Fahy said another automatic-aid agreement may be in the works with the Bartlett Fire Protection District for the area around Bartlett and Spaulding roads, where there are industrial sites in Elgin and subdivisions in Bartlett.

On top of all that, local fire departments and districts also have mutual-aid agreements. Those involve major incidents in which extra units are needed. There is a predetermined set of responses, and such aid has to be requested as the emergency situation is happening, Fahy said.

The formal agreements have been set up since the late 1960s through the statewide Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS). Elgin is part of Illinois MABAS Division 2 (www.mabas2.org), which includes 15 fire departments or districts.

A prime example of MABAS in practice was the September fire caused by lightning at Village Pizza and Pub in Carpentersville, where at least eight fire departments or districts wound up assisting.

All this also points toward the difference between departments and districts.

Fire departments are part of a city or village government and are funded through municipality budgets. Fire districts levy their own taxes to pay for their operations and cover not only municipalities but also surrounding land that most often is unincorporated and/or undeveloped.

Complicating the issue are “paper districts,” Fahy said. Those exist only on paper and contract out for services, most typically from an adjacent body that has a fire department. They also are independent taxing bodies, with that money going to pay for the services provided. An example would be areas near West Dundee served by the village of West Dundee Fire Department.

In recent years, some paper districts have moved to become actual brick-and-mortar districts with their own staff and buildings. Those include areas that had been served by departments in Palatine and St. Charles that are now independent, Fahy said, noting that on Jan. 1, the Barrington and Countryside Fire Protection District began operating in an area that had been served by the Barrington’s village department.

Who gets paid

Either way, for someone who winds up in an ambulance, Fahy said, “Regardless of where the incident is, the department that transports the patient is the one who gets paid.”

In 2011, Elgin updated city ordinances, raising the rates for various fire services, including ambulance charges. It was the first change for the ordinances in 10 years.

“Prior to the 2011 ordinance change, the rates were adjusted annually as Medicare rates changed,” Fahy said.

For those transported who have third-party insurance, charges not covered by that insurance remain the responsibility of the patient. People who are covered under Medicare and Medicaid are not responsible for the unpaid balance, with the difference “written down,” Fahy said.

In 2010, revenue collected for Elgin Fire Department ambulance service was $1.4 million; in 2011, $1.431 million; and in 2012, $1.854 million. The estimate for 2013 is $1.85 million.

The charge for basic life support transport rose from $355 to $442.74 for Elgin residents and from $444 to $692.75 for nonresidents. Advanced life support Level 1 went from $422 to $525.75 for Elginites and from $528 to $900 for outsiders. Advanced life support Level 2 went from $611 to $760 for Elgin residents and from $764 to $1,135 for nonresidents.

The city also began to charge for ambulance mileage, measured from the location of the emergency to the hospital, at a rate of $10 per mile for anyone transported. Any such charges not covered by insurance remain the responsibility of the patient, as it had been in the 2001 ordinance.

Fahy noted that Naperville conducts an extensive survey each year comparing area ambulance service rates.

“Our resident rates are well below the average, and our nonresident rates are slightly above the average. This was by design,” Fahy said.

thanks Dan

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Bartlett FPD update

This from Tyler Tobolt:

Bartlett Fire Dept. Battalion 3 Which is Stationed at Station 3. In your photos you have a picture of it saying Battalion 1, its now Battalion 3

Bartlett Fire Protection District

Bartlett Battalion 3. Tyler Tobolt photo

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