Posts Tagged fire departments discuss consolidation

West Dundee will study options for consolidation of fire services with neighbors (more)

Excerpts from the

The West Dundee and Carpentersville fire departments and the East Dundee Fire Protection District engaged in a cooperative services feasibility study with the goal to improve services while saving taxpayers’ money, West Dundee Fire Chief Randy Freise said.

The results of the study, which began in January, were presented to fire officials and their governing bodies Monday.

Kent Greene, of Oregon-based Emergency Services Consulting International, said the three entities already have worked well together in certain operational areas, such as sharing an automatic aid agreement. However, further and more formal methods of consolidating could save costs and expand services, he said.

The departments have three options: merge into a single fire department, maintain separate entities while combining some efforts, or decide to make no changes.

The study determined the departments are efficiently serving their intended areas with “very good response performances,” Greene said.

Merging the three departments, however, could streamline the use and efficiency of resources. The number of administrative and support positions, for example, wouldn’t change significantly. But instead of having three fire chiefs, they could allot resources to a training officer and an inspector — positions that currently don’t exist.

There are also ways to join efforts without becoming one entity, such as developing a pre-incident planning process used by all three departments so they have the same emergency strategies. They could also combine training and fire prevention education programs.

“I’m 100 percent behind some form of (consolidating), and they gave us a lot of things to think about,” East Dundee Fire Chief Steve Schmitendorf said.

Freise said fire officials had been discussing consolidation possibilities for years before deciding last year to conduct the study for $30,908, a cost that was split among the three entities.

Excerpts from

An in-depth study has concluded consolidating fire services makes sense.

Now, members of the Carpentersville Fire Department, East Dundee Fire Protection District and West Dundee Fire Department have to find out if elected officials and the community agree.

On Monday, Kent Greene, senior vice president with Emergency Services Consulting International, unveiled the results during two different presentations with the fire chiefs and emergency services employees.

“The study was not intended to be a merger study,” Greene said. “It was never our intention to come in and say, ‘Let’s take these departments and make them one.’ I don’t want anyone to think we came in to merge your organizations. It was more to give you the information you need to make changes in the future to help you work better.”

Already, the fire departments are served by QuadCom Regional Dispatch Center, the multi-agency dispatch center in Carpentersville that also covers East Dundee and Rutland Dundee Fire departments.

He said there are several options for even more cooperative efforts, including a functional consolidation, an operational consolidation, or a legal unification. Officials could also choose autonomy, where the fire districts stay as they are.

Greene noted a consolidation would not mean reducing personnel. He said the amount of firefighters for the combined 24.82 square miles the three departments serve is lower than the national and regional average.

However, he said rather than having three chiefs, positions can be reallocated. “You could fill positions that should be filled so services can still be delivered at the current or higher level without a significant cost increase.”

Other cooperative efforts include working together to adopt a shared capital replacement plan that adequately funds the purchase, replacement or rehabilitation of future apparatus, combine their administrative and support services, jointly purchase equipment and apparatus, and consolidate training programs.

Now, elected officials have to decide whether to authorize a continuing investigation into the cooperative efforts that may or may not result in the consolidation of the local fire departments.

thanks Dan

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Talks progress towards consolidating fire department services

The Courier-News has an article about the consolidation talks between the Carpentersville and West Dundee Fire Departments:

As talks continue on the possibility of Carpentersville and West Dundee consolidating fire services, local officials are eager to keep the momentum going.

To that end, West Dundee board members authorized village staff Monday to develop a request for proposal to determine the cost of an in-depth study on consolidation.

West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson said an outside entity can help officials “evaluate the prospect of the consolidation because it is a very complex issue.”

The scope of the possible consolidation has also broadened, with both East Dundee Fire District and Rutland-Dundee Township Fire Protection Districts showing an interest. Efforts are underway currently to take steps toward a more functional consolidation, where the fire department districts would remain separate but work together more in responding to incidents and purchasing equipment.

West Dundee Chief Randy Freise told village officials that Carpentersville has agreed to provide battalion chief coverage in West Dundee for all structure fires, vehicle accidents with extrication, and major incidents at Spring Hill Mall.

Freise also plans to meet with East Dundee Fire Chief Steve Schmitendorf and Carpentersville Deputy Chief John Skillman to discuss the possibility of sharing a training officer.

Nelson said having consistent training not only saves money but also makes sure firefighters are working together and operating as a team.

“Not just for the village of West Dundee but for the other departments and taxpayers,” Nelson said. “Our ultimate goal is to enhance the service level in an affordable way. It’s great we’re able to move the ball on this.”

thanks Dan

Previous posts are HERE and HERE.

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West Dundee will study options for consolidation of fire services with neighbors

The Daily Herald has an article

West Dundee officials this week took a small, but significant step toward possibly consolidating its fire services with neighboring departments by ordering a study on response times, where most emergency calls occur and related information.

The study will focus on the coverage area that encompasses the West Dundee and Carpentersville fire departments, as well as the East Dundee and the Rutland-Dundee Township fire protection districts.

The document, which the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association will compile, would also give an overview of the area and list the individual departments’ strengths and weaknesses.

Once the information comes back, … neighboring fire chiefs [will meet] to review it and figure out the next steps. Carpentersville, West Dundee and East Dundee support the study and are dividing its cost among themselves. Rutland-Dundee has agreed to submit information for the study, but is not making a financial contribution.

Talks about consolidating services have been ongoing for many years, but got serious in January …

“Certainly everybody’s got tight budgets and it makes sense to look at it at this time, but my ultimate goal would be to provide better service,” Friese said.

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Fire departments discuss consolidation

The Daily Herald has an article about discussions between Carpentersville and West Dundee to consolidate their fire departments.

Carpentersville and West Dundee officials have started preliminary discussions on consolidating services within their fire departments, talks that come at a critical time for West Dundee’s finances. The nature of the consolidation, the services involved and the money it could save have not been determined, but future talks are expected to lay out that groundwork.

“There will be a math problem that shows all the communities why we should do it,” Carpentersville Village Manager J. Mark Rooney told the audit and finance commission last week. “The political will’s the back half of this.”

West Dundee is projected to lose between $300,000 and $400,000 in annual sales tax revenues once its Target store closes in May. Village officials are expected to discuss the financial ramifications next month during budget proceedings, Finance Director David Danielson said.

Carpentersville budgeted more than $5.5 million for its fire department in the fiscal year ending April 30. The department fields 32 full-time firefighters and 29 part-timers. The West Dundee Fire Department, meanwhile, consists of 11 full-time firefighters and 30 part-timers. Officials there budgeted almost $2 million for the fire department, Danielson said.

The consolidation talks started about a month ago with a meeting between West Dundee Fire Chief Randy Friese, West Dundee Village Manager Joseph Cavallaro, Rooney, Village President Ed Ritter and Public Safety Director Al Popp, who oversees both the police and fire departments in Carpentersville.

Three years ago, discussions on consolidation among police departments in West Dundee, Sleepy Hollow and East Dundee fell apart after Sleepy Hollow pulled out over autonomy issues and after concluding the village wouldn’t save as much money as officials hoped.

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