Posts Tagged towns consider consolidation of fire stations

West Dundee will study options for consolidation of fire services with neighbors (more)

Excerpts from the

The West Dundee and Carpentersville fire departments and the East Dundee Fire Protection District engaged in a cooperative services feasibility study with the goal to improve services while saving taxpayers’ money, West Dundee Fire Chief Randy Freise said.

The results of the study, which began in January, were presented to fire officials and their governing bodies Monday.

Kent Greene, of Oregon-based Emergency Services Consulting International, said the three entities already have worked well together in certain operational areas, such as sharing an automatic aid agreement. However, further and more formal methods of consolidating could save costs and expand services, he said.

The departments have three options: merge into a single fire department, maintain separate entities while combining some efforts, or decide to make no changes.

The study determined the departments are efficiently serving their intended areas with “very good response performances,” Greene said.

Merging the three departments, however, could streamline the use and efficiency of resources. The number of administrative and support positions, for example, wouldn’t change significantly. But instead of having three fire chiefs, they could allot resources to a training officer and an inspector — positions that currently don’t exist.

There are also ways to join efforts without becoming one entity, such as developing a pre-incident planning process used by all three departments so they have the same emergency strategies. They could also combine training and fire prevention education programs.

“I’m 100 percent behind some form of (consolidating), and they gave us a lot of things to think about,” East Dundee Fire Chief Steve Schmitendorf said.

Freise said fire officials had been discussing consolidation possibilities for years before deciding last year to conduct the study for $30,908, a cost that was split among the three entities.

Excerpts from

An in-depth study has concluded consolidating fire services makes sense.

Now, members of the Carpentersville Fire Department, East Dundee Fire Protection District and West Dundee Fire Department have to find out if elected officials and the community agree.

On Monday, Kent Greene, senior vice president with Emergency Services Consulting International, unveiled the results during two different presentations with the fire chiefs and emergency services employees.

“The study was not intended to be a merger study,” Greene said. “It was never our intention to come in and say, ‘Let’s take these departments and make them one.’ I don’t want anyone to think we came in to merge your organizations. It was more to give you the information you need to make changes in the future to help you work better.”

Already, the fire departments are served by QuadCom Regional Dispatch Center, the multi-agency dispatch center in Carpentersville that also covers East Dundee and Rutland Dundee Fire departments.

He said there are several options for even more cooperative efforts, including a functional consolidation, an operational consolidation, or a legal unification. Officials could also choose autonomy, where the fire districts stay as they are.

Greene noted a consolidation would not mean reducing personnel. He said the amount of firefighters for the combined 24.82 square miles the three departments serve is lower than the national and regional average.

However, he said rather than having three chiefs, positions can be reallocated. “You could fill positions that should be filled so services can still be delivered at the current or higher level without a significant cost increase.”

Other cooperative efforts include working together to adopt a shared capital replacement plan that adequately funds the purchase, replacement or rehabilitation of future apparatus, combine their administrative and support services, jointly purchase equipment and apparatus, and consolidate training programs.

Now, elected officials have to decide whether to authorize a continuing investigation into the cooperative efforts that may or may not result in the consolidation of the local fire departments.

thanks Dan

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Towns discuss sharing fire station

The Niles Herald Spector has an article about discussions between Niles and Morton Grove to share a fire station:

The mayors of the villages of Niles and Morton Grove are discussing the possibility of combining resources to build a shared firehouse.

Niles Mayor Andrew Przybylo says it might be cheaper for the two villages to build one new facility than to repair their existing structures. The fire departments would still operate separately. Przybylo said the discussions with Morton Grove Mayor Dan DiMaria are still in the very preliminary stages and nothing has been decided.

The Morton Grove Fire Department currently has two stations. Its headquarters are at the intersection of Lincoln and Callie avenues, with the second facility at 8954 Shermer Road. Niles has one [two] fire station[s, one] at Dempster Street and Cumberland Avenue, [and the other at 6611 Jarvis].

Przybylo said the headquarters of both fire departments are due for major repairs. Given the expenses involved, he argued, combining resources would make sense.

“If the village of Niles has to spend several million dollars to refurbish our house on Dempster, and Morton Grove has to refurbish its firehouse, maybe it would be better to build a new firehouse,” Przybylo said in an interview. “It would be better for the villages to take millions of dollars and build one firehouse that’s less expensive than two.”

He also argued because Niles and Morton Grove are close together, sending fire trucks from the same location makes sense. He noted the villages’ fire trucks already get dispatched into each other’s territory.

Among the issues to be resolved if the plan is to proceed would be choosing a site and figuring out how to fund the project. So far, Przybylo said, there hasn’t been much progress on the idea but he remains hopeful. Ryan Horne, the Morton Grove village administrator, said his community wouldn’t necessarily be averse to the idea

thanks Ron

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