The Barrington-Courier Review has an article about the launch of the new, independent Barrington Countryside FPD:

Despite many tumultuous and emotional months leading up to the village of Barrington and [Barrington] Countryside Fire Protection District’s separation, both sides reported that the first week of independent operations went smoothly.

“It’s been very cohesive,” said Scott Motisi, protection fire district battalion chief. “We put a program together that incorporated not only new members but those who came over from the village of Barrington. It’s a group mentality. Everyone has helped each other in training and sharing specialties.”

Jeff Swanson, the district’s chief and administrator, reported that the seven days were greeted by about 50 calls for service across the Countryside’s 46-square-mile area territory.

The Barrington Fire Department has responded to 29 calls within its 5-square-mile coverage area, reported Fire Chief James Arie. “It’s going great,” Arie said. “The guys have adjusted to the new arrangement. There have been no issues or hiccups.”

Even the extreme weather that started with heavy snow Jan. 4 and continued with bitter cold into Jan. 6 didn’t prove to make each side’s first week overly difficult.

The most taxing day for the Countryside Protection District was Jan. 8, when its firefighters responded to 15 calls including several about pipes bursting due to thawing. Motisi, a former lieutenant with the Barrington Fire Department, said the calls were all handled without the need for mutual aid. One of three new battalion chiefs recently hired by the district, Motisi said his agency is continuing to adapt to the dramatic change in local fire services.

The district has received new equipment including hydraulic-powered ambulance cots for transporting patients and a 3,000 gallon tanker.

October and November was dedicated to orientation, Motisi explained, and the district’s focus has since shifted to training. District firefighters have trained on breathing apparatus, reviewed response protocols, practiced for search and rescue situations, and gone over the layouts of area hospitals. And changes are still coming to the district. The firehouses are expecting delivery of new ambulances and the hiring of six additional firefighter/paramedics.

Arie said the village department’s transition has been smooth because most of its 16 firefighters are familiar with Barrington.

Serving a smaller footprint, the 16 firefighters are split over three shifts at the public safety building, with a shift commander for each. Like the district, Arie said his firefighter/paramedics are enthusiastic and prepared to serve.