Posts Tagged new fire department

Fox River & Countryside Fire Rescue District update

Dennis McGuire, Jr. sent a link to an article in yesterday’s Daily Herald about the Fox River & Countryside Fire Rescue District hiring personnel.  Some excerpts:

Though the final staffing contract has yet to receive a vote, Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue trustees now have an employee roster they believe rivals or surpasses any other local fire department.

American Emergency Services completed the hiring of the district’s fire and ambulance personnel. Of the 21 full-time employees, 18 are certified to work as both firefighters and paramedics. The remaining three will have the same credentials upon completion of paramedic school. The department will employ 10 paid-on-call firefighters with lesser training as basic EMTs and two firefighters with paramedic certification. Including additional part-time staff, the district will have nearly 40 employees in the fire department.

Trustees announced Monday night the department is now a member of MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) Division II, which includes communities such as South Elgin, Elgin and East and West Dundee among others.

Trustees also said discussions are under way for auto aid agreements with South Elgin and Pingree Grove.

(Fire district President Jim) Gaffney also said he plans on having further discussions with St. Charles to see what assistance the two fire departments may be able to provide each other in the future.

Gaffney refused to answer any questions about the district’s impasses with Campton Hills and South Elgin on the progression of construction on the district’s new fire houses in those communities. Both communities have issued stop work orders to the fire district in recent weeks. Gaffney said those notices won’t slow down the fire district.

“We’ll be ready to go at midnight on May 1,” Gaffney said.

The entire article can be found HERE.

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Fox River & Countryside Fire Rescue District update

An article in Monday’s Daily Herald discusses a skirmish between the Fox River & Countryside Fire Rescue District and the Village of Campton Hills over the construction of a new fire station.  Below are excerpts from the article.

Campton Hills officials have now brought a cease-and-desist order to the battle over construction of a new fire station in the district.

“The Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District has not been acting in good faith in its relationship with the village,” said Village President Patsy Smith in a written statement.

Smith said once it became clear the fire district wanted to build a fire station the village tried to speed up the review process only to see the district fail to supply information and documents about the fire station to the village for the past six weeks. Smith said the district’s withdrawal of the permit application only prolongs the process.

“They cannot legally continue building without the proper approvals,” Smith wrote. “What is needed at this point is for the fire district end its ‘gamesmanship’ and deal with the village and the citizens of the fire district in a straightforward manner. The lives of our citizens are at stake, and the village board does not appreciate the fire district’s deceptive methods of conducting business.”

The entire article can be found HERE.
Thanks to Dennis McGire, Jr. for keeping an eye on the new district.

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Fox River & Countryside Fire Rescue District update

The Daily Herald ran an article last week about the new Fox River & Countryside Fire Rescue District. Some excerpts from the article which was an interview with fire district president Jim Gaffney.

The creation of a new fire department by the Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District will create a ripple of consequences that could impact infrastructure and property taxes. But district President Jim Gaffney believes vindication will come when he said 911 services improve.

The district voted last month to end its long-term relationship with the city of St. Charles. That blew a $2.2 million hole in the city’s budget, though city officials already announced a plan to cut costs. Those cuts include eliminating one fire company and participation in the tactical emergency medical services unit that supports the Kane County Sheriff’s SWAT team.

MGaffney’s vision for creating an “economical” solution to improve fire and ambulance service in the district’s coverage area speeds forward. He said adding two more ambulances and water tanker trucks as well as a total staff of about 57 firefighters and paramedics to the area can only improve service. Gaffney said private company manpower, including paid-on-call employees, may even be an upgrade to what citizens have experienced in the past.

“Paid-on-call and volunteer firefighters are much more dedicated than full-time firefighters,” Gaffney said. “It’s not a job to them; it’s a commitment.”

…the district will keep its eyes on the new plan Campton Hills is considering to start its own fire department. In theory, that would undercut much of the service area Fox River and Countryside relies on for tax dollars. Gaffney said he isn’t worried.

“They can’t afford to set up a fire department,” Gaffney said. “It’s a pipe dream as far as we’re concerned.”

The district’s trustees expect to name the department’s first chief within the next 10 days.

The complete article can be found HERE.

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St. Charles mayor predicts failure for new fire district

The following is from an article in the Daily Herald earlier this week.

St. Charles Mayor Don DeWitte on Monday predicted failure for the new Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District because neither the finances nor the promises for better response times make sense to him.

“We think these are some drastic, definitive decisions the fire protection district is making,” DeWitte said. “We believe them to be ill-conceived. The ultimate result will be a reduction in service to the people we have served in the outlying areas for going on four or five decades.

“We just don’t believe much forethought has been put into this process. This is going to be a bad situation, and we’re going to have to watch it slowly implode.”

DeWitte and St. Charles Fire Chief Pat Mullen believe the district’s main problem is a tax rate that is simply too low to provide the level of fire service everyone wants in the district. At 19 cents per $100 of equalized assessed value, the rate is about one-third as much as any other nearby fire district.

“They have a revenue problem,” DeWitte said. “They don’t have an expense problem.”

Fire district officials are expected to soon finalize a contract with Wheaton-based American Emergency Services to provide both firefighters and paramedics at about $1.7 million a year. But the additional infrastructure cost to establish two firehouses in the district and an uncertain cost for personnel in the second year of the contract is what makes DeWitte and Mullen skeptical of the finances.

DeWitte and Mullen also demonstrated on a map of the service area how they believe the new firehouses in the district represent a false promise of better response times. Mullen said the location of the new houses, at the far southwest and northeast portions of the district, mean homeowners with the best response times under St. Charles will now wait longer when they experience fires and medical emergencies.

Mullen said the district, having only two firehouses and a large geographical coverage area, will be spread thin whenever more than one emergency call occurs. A chart the city created using GIS maps predicts a response time of up to 16 minutes for the district’s station near South Elgin to arrive at the Kane County Judicial Center if needed.

Aside from those predictions, DeWitte said the new fire district creates a financial problem for each of the Tri-Cities. The district’s separation from St. Charles and the Tri-City Ambulance Service means each community must now pay a larger share for the cost of having paramedics show up when residents need them. St. Charles, for instance, will shoulder an additional $200,000 of that price tag.

The complete article can be found HERE.

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Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District – update

The Kane County Chronicle posted an article HERE about several options that are being considered for the direction of the new Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District. The St. Charles Fire Department, Metro Paramedic Services, and American Emergency Services have all submitted proposals which will be considered by the board in February.

District officials announced last month they wanted to change its operations to open other fire and ambulance stations, which would lower response time for emergency services for residents of Wayne, Campton and St. Charles townships.

… the fire protection district held its last meeting, as its name change to Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District goes into effect Saturday.

Its new website is which also links from the old district’s name,

Thanks for Dennis McGuire, Jr. for submitting this information.

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Fox River and Countryside Fire Rescue District update

The Kane County Chronicle ran an article yesterday about the new Fox River and Countryside Fire Rescue Department which can be found HERE. It discusses much of the preliminary planning about the staffing levels and apparatus as well as come of the concerns which prompted the creation of a new department.

Thanks to Dennis McGuire, Jr. for spotting the article.

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