Posts Tagged Barrington Countryside Fire Chief Jeffrey Swanson

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District news

From the Barrington and Countryside FPD website:

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) Board of Trustees has established a team of experienced officers to lead an orderly transition of fire department operations before Fire Chief/Administrator Jeffrey A. Swanson’s three-year employment agreement ends in July 2016, Fire District President Thomas C. Long, M.D., announced.

The resolution approved at the Board’s December 21st meeting establishes a Transition Team of Deputy Chief James Kreher, Deputy Chief Donald J. Wenschhof, Assistant Chief Nick Asta, and Assistant Chief Scott Motisi to work closely with Chief Swanson over the next several months.  It also outlines specific department functions each member will take the lead in overseeing:

  • Deputy Chief Wenschhof – Operations.
  • Deputy Chief Kreher – Administration.
  • Assistant Chief Asta – Vehicles and equipment.
  • Assistant Chief Motisi – Training.

“My fellow trustees and I have been extremely impressed by the professionalism and dedication shown by the officers who comprise the Transition Team,” Dr. Long said.  “This represents an opportunity to leverage their experience for the benefit of our residents while we begin the process of finding our next fire chief.”

Chief Swanson was hired by the Board of Trustees in 2013 on a three-year employment contract to establish a new fire department that provides higher levels of service to district residents.  The BCFPD began independent operations in January 2014, after years of purchasing fire and emergency medical services from a neighboring community.

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Barrington & Countryside FPD responds to village critique

The Barrington-Courier Review has a brief article on the relationship between the two Barrington fire department.

Despite last week’s clash between the Barrington Fire Department and Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District about the way a recent fire was handled, the two sides are still working to forge a mutual aid pact.

“Slim as it might be, it will still be an operational relationship,” Fire District Trustee Paul Heinze said Wednesday during a report to the Barrington Hills Village Board. “The essence of the difficulty is that they [Barrington Fire Department] want enormous free support from us.” Heinze noted that district’s 46-square-mile territory proves much more costly to serve than the department’s 5 square miles. He listed the costs of manpower, wear and tear on equipment, and exposure to hazardous conditions as ongoing points of contention.

“We’re interested in drafting something that is equitable and balanced,” he said.

The differing service demands were among the factors that led the agencies to split effective Jan. 1.

Heinze also provided Barrington Hills officials a report about the district’s first 100 days operating independently. Its crews responded to 398 calls during that time, including requests for 198 ambulance services and 43 vehicular accidents. The district doubled its manpower at each of its two stations and purchased a new ambulance during the first 100 days, he added. The district’s ability to get water to areas without hydrants also has improved.

“You’ll be pleased to know we have two, 3,000-gallon tenders, one at each station,” he said, adding that the district acquired a backup tanker.

While there is no aid agreement in place, the two entities remain on the same box alarm system. District crews will be dispatched to serious emergencies in the village.

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Barrington chief questions fire district response

The Daily Herald has an article about tensions between the Barrington Fire Department and the Barrington Countryside Fire District.

Barrington’s fire chief is publicly questioning the procedures of the recently formed Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s department after a recent house fire just blocks from the village’s border.

[Barrington] Chief Jim Arie said his firefighters could have made it to the scene of the April 9 fire at 1025 S. Grove St. in nearly half the time that it took Barrington Countryside, but were never called to assist in battling the blaze.

Arie reported at a recent public meeting of the Barrington village board that the first fire engine on the scene from Barrington Countryside arrived in five minutes and 34 seconds, whereas an engine from the Barrington village station, located less than two miles from the fire, would have arrived in less than three minutes. The Barrington Countryside engine first on the scene had to travel just over 3½ miles.  Arie said the more than two minute time difference was important.

“Fire doubles in size about every minute,” he said, noting that the blaze initially was reported to have started in the garage, but was fully involved fire by the time Barrington Countryside firefighters arrived.

It’s extremely unusual for neighbors not to work with each other regarding when an emergency call goes on, such as the case here,” Arie said. “(It) is very unfortunate for everybody, especially the public.”

Barrington Countryside Fire Chief Jeffrey Swanson refuted Aries’ claims that his district handled the call improperly. He said he is proud of his firefighters’ work in the April 9 fire, adding that their efforts saved about $200,000 in property damage to the home.

When a fire occurs, it’s standard practice for emergency dispatchers to inform departments in neighboring jurisdictions. Which departments are called, and when, is determined by lists prepared by each agency and aid agreements worked out among the departments.  Barrington Countryside does not have the Barrington Fire Department in the first group of neighboring departments to be contacted when a fire south of Lake-Cook Road is reported. Instead, departments in Carpentersville, East Dundee, Hoffman Estates, Cary and Long Grove are notified first.

Swanson said the district is satisfied with its list, and noted that the Barrington Fire Department is in the second group of agencies to be called. He added that the fire district will review the call list. “If we need to change it, we will change it,” he said

thanks Dan

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