Posts Tagged Rockland FPD seeks proposals to outsource services

Knollwood Fire Department news (more)

From the

On December 7, 2017, the City of Lake Forest and the Village of Libertyville presented a joint draft proposal for Fire, Emergency Medical and Fire Prevention Services to the Rockland Fire Protection District (RFPD) that will be considered by the Libertyville Village Board at its December 12, 2017 meeting.  Lake Forest and Libertyville believe the proposal is a comprehensive and cost-effective partnership, providing residents of the RFPD with the long-term benefits of full-time services from two professional fire departments, more efficient initial emergency response forces and more effective back-up support. 

The proposal includes the employment opportunity for existing volunteer personnel to continue to service the community and to train with other members of the Lake Forest Fire Department, as well as possibly using, repurposing or selling existing fire apparatus, equipment and facilities, all benefiting RFPD taxpayers.

Lake Forest and Libertyville firefighters and paramedics have worked side by side with the dedicated volunteers of the RFPD for many years.  The City of Lake Forest and the Village of Libertyville have provided or are now providing emergency services to the District. 

The communities initiated discussions in 2012 on improving efficiencies and the economic benefits associated with joining forces.   Conversations have continued, and earlier this year, the RFPD Board requested a proposal from both Libertyville and Lake Forest.  After thoughtful consideration, both municipalities concluded that by working together, a plan could be developed that focuses on high-quality, full-time services from their two professional fire departments providing: 1) enhanced emergency and fire response and 2) improved cost-effectiveness to all residents of the District.

The City of Lake Forest and the Village of Libertyville believe this proposal meets the important goals of enhancing services, reducing costs and respecting the values and traditions of the RFPD. 


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Knollwood Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the

The board governing the Knollwood Fire Department has requested proposals from both Lake Forest and Libertyville to take over firefighting and ambulance services.

The city of Lake Forest plans to assemble a proposal over the next 90 days and will then submit it to the Rockland Fire Protection District Board, which oversees Knollwood Fire Department, by the end of 2017. The Rockland Fire Protection District covers the unincorporated Knollwood neighborhood as well as a portion of Lake Bluff.

The city does have a few guidelines for its proposal. They stipulate that supplying services to Knollwood can’t reduce service to Lake Forest, the deal must generate long-term savings and it must integrate full-time, paid-on-call, and volunteer firefighters.

At an Aug. 8 meeting, Mayor Terry Weppler of Libertyville said a meeting of the town’s police and fire committee would be scheduled to consider whether to submit a proposal.

Dan Rogers, one of three trustees on the Rockland Fire Protection District Board, said the request for proposals is an effort to be fiscally responsible.

“Our (property tax) levy is about $635,000 for 7/8 of a square mile for fire and ambulance service,” Rogers said. “Several months ago we got proposals from Libertyville. They came back with a preliminary offer to take over all services for $380,000.”

Karl Snoblin, also a trustee for the fire protection district, sees things differently.

“There is no immediate threat,” Snoblin said, adding that the district has had a balanced budget for the last three years. “We have to work with our neighbors but to get rid of equipment and employees doesn’t seem to be necessary.”

In April, Knollwood voters approved a referendum that would allow them to elect trustees to the district’s board. That referendum takes effect in 2019. Currently, trustees are appointed by the Lake County Board.

Snoblin would like to hold off on any decisions on outsourcing fire and ambulance services.

“I believe it is inappropriate for this board to pursue outsourcing the department,” Snoblin said. “This is a caretaker board. There is nothing driving us to do this in the 22 months. It should be for the elected board to pursue.”

Lake Forest City Manager Bob Kiely expressed a similar opinion about cultural identity during an Aug. 7 city council meeting. He pointed out that Knollwood is unincorporated and all services besides fire – including law enforcement and public works – are supplied by Lake County.

While Rogers said the process is only in the research stage of it, Ed Whitehead is concerned that if the present board approves outsourcing fire and ambulance service, that decision would be irrevocable. Whitehead served on the fire protection board from 2010 to 2016.

“Our building gets sold, all our equipment gets sold,” Whitehead said. “We don’t have a fallback position at that point.”

thanks Dan

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