Posts Tagged Rutland-Dundee Fire Protection District

West Dundee Fire Department & East Dundee and Countryside Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

West Dundee is forging ahead with efforts to consolidate local fire departments. Trustees voted 4-1 to continue discussing a possible intergovernmental agreement with the Rutland-Dundee Fire Protection District that would have both departments working under one management team.

Monday’s discussion follows on the heels of the East Dundee and Countryside Fire Protection District’s decision to terminate an intergovernmental agreement with West Dundee that was approved in 2016 and had West Dundee Fire Chief Randy Freise taking the helm of both departments which began Jan. 1, 2017.

The agreement called for the cost of the chief position to be shared equally by each village. In terms of hierarchy, the East Dundee Fire Protection District’s deputy chief began reporting to Freise, and Freise reported to both the West Dundee village manager and the East Dundee Fire District board. West Dundee officials had hoped the two agencies could then work with Rutland-Dundee in coordinating joint fire management services.

But citing budget concerns, the East Dundee and Countryside Fire Protection District board voted in September to give 90 days notice of its intent to opt out of the agreement.

The proposed structure for the new joint fire management services concept would include utilizing the existing management staffs of the two departments, as well as the creation of a three-member board, with one member from Rutland-Dundee, one from West Dundee, and one to be agreed upon by the respective elected officials of both organizations, to serve as an oversight committee.

The chief and deputy chief would report directly to the board in regards to operations and day-to-day management issues, and the individual board members would report back to their respective full boards. West Dundee’s village manager would also serve as an ex-officio member to aid the fire staff in its day-to-day responsibilities.

The discussion does not exclude Carpentersville, which has been part of the effort in recent years to share resources and standardize operations. Carpentersville has expressed its desire to further evaluate the concept and leaders from both villages plan to meet in the coming weeks to discuss it.

Several West Dundee board members expressed their support for moving the concept forward for discussion.

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Rutland Dundee Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

The Rutland Dundee Fire Protection District wants a judge to terminate a contract it has to provide fire and ambulance services to about 30 homes in the West Dundee Fire Protection District.

In their lawsuit, Rutland officials argue its residents are unfairly subsidizing the fire and ambulance service by paying three times what the West Dundee residents pay and that the agreement, originally approved in 2004, was last changed by board members who no longer are in office.

According to the suit, filed in Kane County, Rutland and the West Dundee Fire Protection District, signed an agreement in November 2004 to have Rutland provide fire and ambulance services for a yearly cost of $7,500. The West Dundee Fire Protection District is a group of luxury homes off Frontenac Drive and Boncosky Road just west of Route 31 and is a taxing body that only exists on paper. Under state law, it may contract for fire and ambulance services.

Tom Gilbert, West Dundee Fire Protection District attorney, said Rutland should honor the deal, which runs until April 2020. The agreement has been updated over the years, but Rutland has been taxing its residents the maximum under the Property Tax Limitation Act, or tax cap, and Rutland residents are paying a rate effectively three times the amount paid by West Dundee Fire Protection District residents.

“It is the deal they made,” Gilbert said, noting the original $7,500-a-year pact has been adjusted for inflation over the years and is now about $12,000. “Our plan is to stick to the agreement.”

Also, the suit argues, all of the Rutland fire trustees who signed off on the contract and subsequent changes to it are no longer on the board so the current board is not bound by it.

If a judge terminates the deal, numerous scenarios could come into play — the two most immediate being the West Dundee Fire Protection District may contract with another district for services or sign another deal at a higher annual cost with Rutland.

West Dundee Fire Protection District officials used to contract with the village of West Dundee for fire services in the early 2000s, but when the village asked to increase the contract, they signed the 2004 deal with Rutland.

The two sides are due in court on Aug. 13.

thanks Ron

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Rutland Dundee FPD history

This from Doug Hoyt:

Following up on the Alsip front-mount “bumper pumpers”, here are a few photos of some Division 2 rigs from the early / mid 80’s.  One is Rutland-Dundee Engine 52, a 1961(?) International, one is Rutland-Dundee Engine 57, a 750 gpm Ford/Darley with a 2000 gal. tank. Sorry that the photos aren’t the best quality; I wasn’t the greatest photographer back then, and some of the pictures got cut off in the printing.  (Still looking for the negatives.) Thanks for the chance to share these!
Doug Hoyt…

Vintage photo of Rutland-Dundee FPD Engine 52

Rutland-Dundee Engine 52. Doug Hoyt photo

Vintage photo of Rutland-Dundee FPD Engine 57

Rutland-Dundee Engine 57. Doug Hoyt photo

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Fire departments to share resources

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Carpentersville, East Dundee, Rutland, and West Dundee fire departments have agreed to share expenses for equipment that will be used for incidents involving hazardous materials, water, and technical rescues, and special investigations in all four areas.

Rutland’s decommissioned squad will carry needed equipment and be housed at one of the Carpentersville fire stations.

“Carpentersville is firmly committed to the implementation of interdepartmental cooperation with the possible goal that at a future date we will merge the departments to provide economies of scale through better use of equipment, better use of staff, shared leadership and creative new ideas,” said Carpentersville Village President Ed Ritter.

According to West Dundee Fire Chief Randy Freise, Carpentersville Fire Chief John-Paul Schilling has offered to send personnel as needed for the special-incident teams and will coordinate with all other fire departments.

A committee of representatives from the four departments has met. Their plans include that initial crews from each department will respond to incidents, with the special-teams vehicle used as an additional resource for large incidents when needed,” said Freise.

This is an excellent way to combine resources for the betterment of the community. According to the agreement, the four fire departments involved will be sharing expenses associated with equipping, maintaining, insuring and storing the squad. It will remain titled in the name of Rutland-Dundee.

With smaller communities in the Rutland Dundee Township Fire Protection District like Sleepy Hollow struggling to make ends meet, this agreement could be the start of continuing partnerships with larger municipalities to provide shared services.

thanks Dan

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Rutland Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

In a press release, Rutland-Dundee Fire Protection District Fire Chief Richard Thomas said the department’s Insurance Service Organization (ISO) rating has gone from a 4 to a 2.

The 2 rating awarded to Rutland-Dundee has been achieved by only 2.76 percent of fire departments throughout the nation, according to 2015 numbers. Of the 48,632 fire departments rated by ISO, only 1,343 have received a rating of 2 or better.

“Our firefighters and officers have worked hard to address all of the intricacies associated with the rating system and to identify how our resources can best be used to assure the biggest return on the investment made by taxpayers,” Thomas said. “This rating is also dependent on the performance of organizations beyond our department. A big factor in this rating was the commitment of the Village of Sleepy Hollow and the Village of Gilberts to upgrade their water systems.”

He also credited Quadcom 911 — the district’s dispatch center — and its board for helping achieve the rating.

The ISO rating is based on a wide variety of factors that assess how a fire department’s capabilities curtail the risk of loss by fire, explosion or other casualty, as well as the level of training received by department personnel, the type and condition of firefighting equipment, and the reliability and availability of a water supply for firefighting purposes.

Response times, which are dependent on the placement and availability of firefighting personnel and the location and staging of firehouses and equipment in relation to the structures they protect, is also factored into the rating.

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Fire department consolidation proves complex

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Citing nearly impossible legal hurdles at the state level, the Carpentersville Fire Department, East Dundee Fire Protection District and West Dundee Fire Department will not seek a complete consolidation at this time.

However, the fire chiefs do agree it should be a goal for the future. “It doesn’t mean we’re stopping and just not doing anything,” West Dundee Chief Randy Freise said. “We’re just not jumping in all at once. We’re breaking it down into smaller pieces.”

In November of 2014, members of the Carpentersville Village Board, East Dundee and Countryside Fire Protection District Board, and West Dundee Village Board shared the $30,908 expense to initiate the study by Emergency Services Consulting International. In October of this year, results from that in-depth study concluded consolidating fire services would make sense.

However, Freise said during a presentation at Monday’s board meeting, when the fire chiefs were tasked with analyzing the study and discussing the results with their respective boards “we came to the conclusion a complete legal consolidation at this time would be too difficult to do.”

Freise said a state law passed in the last year and a half requires more hurdles in order to make consolidations possible. “Now we have referendums and court appearances and all these different things we have to do in order to do this,” he said. “It kind of takes the decision away from the local boards and makes it much more difficult.”

They plan to keep working toward the ultimate goal of a potential full consolidation. That includes the possibility of forming work groups represented by members of each department and municipality and tasked with developing a regional approach to providing the best outcome, and a regional board that would include a fire chief from each of the respective towns and a trustee from that town to consider the recommendations of the work groups.

The fire chiefs are also meeting with Sen. Karen McConnaughay this month to discuss the roadblocks in state law considering consolidation, Freise said. “One of our goals is to meet with local legislators to make them aware the state is making it more difficult and to see if we can’t change the legislation and make it more streamlined,” he said.

Freise said in the last few weeks he has also heard from the Rutland-Dundee Township Fire Protection District chief who is interested in joining the conversation of a possible future consolidation. “A big piece of our regional puzzle that has been missing from the onset is participation of Rutland-Dundee Township Fire Protection District,” he said. “Through all of this we’ve continued to work closely with them and will most likely continue to do so in the future, no matter what it holds.”

More can be found HERE, and HERE

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New area ambulance deliveries

Ron Wolkoff found the following new Horton ambulance deliveries on the Foster Coach Facebook page:

Two new ambulances on International chassis with Horton bodies for Arlington Heights

Arlington Heights FD ambulance

Foster Coach photo

Arlington Heights FD ambulance

Foster Coach photo

A new Horton ambulance on a Freightliner chassis for the Rutland-Dundee FPD

Rutland-Dundee FPD ambulance

Foster Coach photo

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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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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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