Posts Tagged District Fire Chief Jeff Swanson

Barrington Countryside FPD orders new engine

The Barrington Courier Review has an article about the Barrington Countryside FPD ordering an new engine.

Continuing to expand its fleet, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District trustees budgeted $425,000 last week for the purchase of a new fire engine.

Earlier in January, the board approved the purchase of two Ford F-150 pickup trucks for equipment transportation and two Ford Expedition to be used as shift command vehicles. Fire district officials said the vehicles will improve firefighters’ ability to protect residents as it operates independent of the village of Barrington’s Fire Department. The long-term fleet expansion plan does not call for increased taxes, district officials said.

“The new fire engine will hold 1,250 gallons of water and be able to carry larger diameter hoses for fire suppression activities,” District Fire Chief Jeff Swanson said. “In addition, the vehicle’s raised cab roof will provide more room for BCFPD firefighters and paramedics and their equipment, and improve their safety.”

The new engine is being built by Florida-based E-One, a worldwide manufacturer of emergency vehicles. The engine will replace an older pumper that will remain in service as a reserve engine.

In total, the new vehicles were budgeted to cost no more than $546,275. District officials said they were able to save taxpayers nearly $30,000 on the purchases by using state purchase pricing.

“Long before the BCFPD began independent operations, the board realized that we would need to upgrade our vehicles to meet the needs of our district,” District President Tom Rowan said. “We committed ourselves to make those improvements without raising taxes on residents.”

In 2012, the district retired more than $1 million in long-term bond obligations which had been originally raised to fund the purchase of the district’s Lake Barrington fire station, officials said. The move saved about $661,000 in interest payments that would have been due over the next 20 years, according to the district.


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Barrington FD & Barrington CFPD still negotiating mutual aid

The Barrington Courier-Review has an article with states that as the year-end separation nears, there is no mutual-aid agreement yet between the Barrington Fire Department and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.

With less than two weeks until the Village of Barrington’s Fire Department and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District begin operating independently, the two sides have still been unable to come to terms on a mutual aid agreement.

The Barrington Village Board previously set a goal to have a deal in place by its Dec. 16 meeting, but the topic was not brought before trustees.

Barrington Fire Chief James Arie said the village has reached out with proposals, but has yet to receive a response from officials at the district. The agreements detail support plans that would go into effect in an emergency across jurisdictional boundaries. Meanwhile, the village has secured automatic aid agreements with neighboring departments in Lake Zurich, Long Grove and Palatine while continuing to negotiate with additional agencies in the area.

“We’ve got resources around us that are prepared to respond to our needs on a daily basis,” said Arie, adding that Barrington firefighters are eager to begin independent operations Jan. 1.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District also moved forward with its independent fire response plan this week by finalizing an automatic aid agreement with the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District. Approved Dec. 16, officials on both sides said the agreement provides residents with high levels of fire and emergency medical services.

According to a district press release, the agreement calls for the Countryside Fire Protection District to provide a fire engine or water tanker vehicle as needed, for all structure fires in Palatine Rural’s jurisdiction. The Barrington district also will send a truck to all Palatine Rural-based calls generated by automatic fire alarm systems.

In return, Palatine Rural will provide an Advanced Life Support engine for Barrington Countryside calls that occur south of Lake-Cook Road, and will provide initial fire and paramedic response for calls on the district’s eastern edge, according to the press release.

“As we begin discussing how our respective organizations might help each other, our only consideration was to ensure that any agreement assisted in fulfilling our mission to provide excellence in service,” said District Fire Chief Jeff Swanson. “That is the benchmark of everything we do. We are very comfortable with the agreement and we will meet regularly over the next year to keep it that way.”

The agreement, which will take effect Jan. 1, was formally approved by the district’s Board of Trustees on Dec. 16. The Palatine Rural Board of Trustees is expected to approve the agreement at a special meeting later this month.

“This agreement between Palatine Rural and Barrington Countryside has taken a bit longer than expected, but it ensures that our residents will receive a premier level of fire and emergency medical service,” Palatine Rural Fire Chief Hank Clemmensen said.

The district board also approved the purchase of a new 3,000 gallon water tanker. Officials said the tanker will vastly improve the district’s ability to deliver large amounts of water to areas that do not have fire hydrants.

“We were very fortunate to find a stock unit that met our needs,” Rowan said. “It avoids us having to wait eight months for the tender to be built.” The $205,000 vehicle, which arrived at district headquarters in mid-December, was manufactured by Minnesota-based Midwest Fire Equipment firm Luverne.

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