Posts Tagged Barrington Fire Chief James Arie

Barrington Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

With a state-mandated retirement age looming, Barrington Fire Chief Jim Arie will retire March 6 under an agreement that was approved by the village board Monday night. The agreement calls for Arie, who started in Barrington in 2003, to receive a $30,000 lump-sum payment along with cash compensation for all earned and accrued vacation and personal time.

The village is working with GovHR USA in seeking applicants for his replacement through Jan. 22. Arie will turn 65 on Aug. 3 and by state law he would have had to retire the day before. Instead, he chose to exit five months early.

Barrington officials credited Arie for his leadership in public safety and promoting the need for a Northwest Highway underpass at the Canadian National Railway tracks near Lake Zurich Road. He stressed how the underpass would eliminate train blockages for ambulances trying to reach Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital from Barrington’s southeast side.

Arie was the Frankfort Fire Protection District’s deputy chief when Barrington hired him in 2003. He started his career as a firefighter and paramedic in Urbana in 1976 and shifted to Champaign in 1979. In 1987, he became the first director of the ambulance service for Champaign’s city hospital. In 1995, Arie became deputy fire administrator of the New Lenox Fire Protection District and deputy chief of the Frankfort Fire District in 1998.

He was a regional leader during his time in Barrington, working with other suburban fire chiefs on the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. He most recently has been Barrington’s emergency operations coordinator on top of his fire chief duties, which village records show paid a base salary of roughly $132,000.

Arie, who was married over the weekend, said in retirement he plans to travel, “play bad golf” and keep up with his son who is in the military.

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Barrington Countryside FPD … begins service

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.

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Barrington FD & Fire District update

The Daily Herald has an article about the separation of the Barrington FD and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District as the split nears:

An exchange of letters between the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District and village of Barrington in late September 2012 began a 15-month process of separating their fire services that becomes real at the stroke of midnight this New Year’s Eve.

Only then will the true test of both agencies’ preparations begin, during a transitional period that will last anywhere from a minute to a year, depending who you ask. It will take a year to fully measure the finances of the fire district’s newly independent fire department, but the test of its operations should take only a few months, board President Tom Rowan said.

“To me, the measure of success is to provide even better service than we did before,” Rowan said. “That’s our goal, for people to say, ‘Wow, that’s a great operation!'” For Barrington Countryside Fire Chief Jeff Swanson, the obligation to be a great operation starts the moment his crew begins its first shift.

In addition to fire protection and ambulance service, the fire district will aim to be more community-focused — providing outreach and education through schools, churches, senior centers and other venues, Rowan said. The fire district covers 48 square miles that include parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

The district has two fire stations, one in Barrington Hills and one in Lake Barrington. It has begun looking for a third location that will improve response times. The district has automatic-aid agreements with several neighboring departments, but Barrington is not one of them.

The two agencies will provide one another with the more standard form of mutual aid — in the case of a big fire, it’s all hands on deck — but they don’t have an auto-aid agreement that spells out the specifics of going above and beyond mutual aid.

Countryside is trying to staff itself so it can depend less on mutual aid than before, Rowan said.

Barrington, however, considers the lack of an automatic-aid agreement with its old partner to be unfinished business, Barrington Fire Chief Jim Arie said. While the Barrington Fire Department is narrowing its focus to the village’s five square miles with the more experienced half of its staff, the lack of an auto-aid agreement with a neighbor ignores a basic tenet of emergency service, Arie said. “It takes some of our closest resources off the table,” he said. “That’s a change I’d prefer didn’t happen.”

The fact that fire district equipment will be passing through Barrington to reach areas of its jurisdiction flies in the face of using the closest available resources, Arie said. He just hopes it’s not at the expense of anyone’s well-being in the meantime.

The separation initially was sparked by fire district trustees’ frustration that their requests for more equipment and staff were regularly denied by Barrington officials, who ran the fire service for both jurisdictions. Now, Countryside trustees say they are satisfied with their starting staffing level. They will study whether their two water tankers are enough, since a large area of their territory is without hydrants, Rowan said.

Both Barrington and Countryside will experience a slight increase in their staffing levels relative to their jurisdiction size — Barrington to 18 firefighters and Barrington Countryside to 34.

Barrington Countryside’s staff will consist of 19 firefighters laid off by Barrington, with the rest hired from private contractor Paramedic Services of Illinois.

thanks Dan

Also, from the Barrington-Courier Review:

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District announced Friday that it will assist the village of Barrington’s Fire Department through the regional response program, but said it is no longer seeking an automatic aid pact with the village.

Reporting that negotiations are at a stalemate, district officials said they will rely on aid agreements with other neighboring agencies when independent fire operations begin Jan. 1.

“The [protection district] will gladly provide assistance to our neighbors in the village of Barrington through [the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System] whenever they need us,” District Chief Jeff Swanson said. “As we move forward, we will work with all our neighbors to continuously improve the levels of service provided to area residents and revise our current agreements when opportunities arise.”

“If Barrington needs us, all they have to do is make the call and we’ll send the cavalry,” District President Tom Rowan added. “We will provide whatever personnel and apparatus they may need that we have available.”

Starting Jan. 1, the Barrington Fire Department will serve its 5-square-mile area while the district focuses on its 46-square-mile area.

MABAS, a regional mutual aid system formed in 1968, includes more than 1,500 fire departments and districts across Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri. MABAS allows firefighter/paramedics to pool resources in situations such as multiple-alarm fires or weather-related disasters that exceed the capabilities of a single department or district.

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Barrington FD & Barrington CFPD still negotiating mutual aid

The Barrington Courier-Review has an article with states that as the year-end separation nears, there is no mutual-aid agreement yet between the Barrington Fire Department and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.

With less than two weeks until the Village of Barrington’s Fire Department and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District begin operating independently, the two sides have still been unable to come to terms on a mutual aid agreement.

The Barrington Village Board previously set a goal to have a deal in place by its Dec. 16 meeting, but the topic was not brought before trustees.

Barrington Fire Chief James Arie said the village has reached out with proposals, but has yet to receive a response from officials at the district. The agreements detail support plans that would go into effect in an emergency across jurisdictional boundaries. Meanwhile, the village has secured automatic aid agreements with neighboring departments in Lake Zurich, Long Grove and Palatine while continuing to negotiate with additional agencies in the area.

“We’ve got resources around us that are prepared to respond to our needs on a daily basis,” said Arie, adding that Barrington firefighters are eager to begin independent operations Jan. 1.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District also moved forward with its independent fire response plan this week by finalizing an automatic aid agreement with the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District. Approved Dec. 16, officials on both sides said the agreement provides residents with high levels of fire and emergency medical services.

According to a district press release, the agreement calls for the Countryside Fire Protection District to provide a fire engine or water tanker vehicle as needed, for all structure fires in Palatine Rural’s jurisdiction. The Barrington district also will send a truck to all Palatine Rural-based calls generated by automatic fire alarm systems.

In return, Palatine Rural will provide an Advanced Life Support engine for Barrington Countryside calls that occur south of Lake-Cook Road, and will provide initial fire and paramedic response for calls on the district’s eastern edge, according to the press release.

“As we begin discussing how our respective organizations might help each other, our only consideration was to ensure that any agreement assisted in fulfilling our mission to provide excellence in service,” said District Fire Chief Jeff Swanson. “That is the benchmark of everything we do. We are very comfortable with the agreement and we will meet regularly over the next year to keep it that way.”

The agreement, which will take effect Jan. 1, was formally approved by the district’s Board of Trustees on Dec. 16. The Palatine Rural Board of Trustees is expected to approve the agreement at a special meeting later this month.

“This agreement between Palatine Rural and Barrington Countryside has taken a bit longer than expected, but it ensures that our residents will receive a premier level of fire and emergency medical service,” Palatine Rural Fire Chief Hank Clemmensen said.

The district board also approved the purchase of a new 3,000 gallon water tanker. Officials said the tanker will vastly improve the district’s ability to deliver large amounts of water to areas that do not have fire hydrants.

“We were very fortunate to find a stock unit that met our needs,” Rowan said. “It avoids us having to wait eight months for the tender to be built.” The $205,000 vehicle, which arrived at district headquarters in mid-December, was manufactured by Minnesota-based Midwest Fire Equipment firm Luverne.

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