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Fire district closer to aid deal with village

District board also approves the hiring of nine officer-level employees

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 10:47 a.m. CDT

LAKE BARRINGTON – Automatic aid is an ongoing discussion for the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District as it readies for operations independent of the village of Barrington in January.

Several automatic aid agreements, including one with Barrington, were the focus of a special district board meeting held Monday evening at Station 3 in Lake Barrington.

Fire district attorney Richard Curran said an automatic aid agreement offered to the village from the fire district earlier Monday afternoon would need to be revised before enacted for the new year.

Curran said this process of re-drafting is not unusual and that the changes will be mainly substantive.

“It will hopefully take only one or two revisions and be ready in a couple of weeks,” Curran said.

Working under an intergovernmental agreement set to expire Dec. 31, 2013, the village and fire district have chosen to operate independently in the new year. This process requires establishing new automatic aid agreements with neighboring communities as separate entities.

Trustees went on to approve a 2014 automatic aid agreement with the Fox River Grove Fire Protection District Monday evening while also discussing a pending document with Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District.

Illinois Fire Chiefs Association officials said an automatic aid agreement with Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District is in its final draft, where both parties agree on the document’s contents. Both sides still are working out boundary lines and, more specifically, road names.

Already approved 2014 automatic aid agreements include those with the Lake Zurich Rural Fire Protection District and the Long Grove Fire Protection District. Documents still pending include the Carpentersville Fire Department, East Dundee Fire Protection District, Fox River Grove Fire Protection District, Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, Barrington Fire Department and Palatine Fire Department.

In terms of staffing, trustees now have given district chief/administrator Jeff Swanson permission to work with Schiller Park-based Paramedic Services of Illinois to hire three assistant chiefs on a part-time basis.

Swanson said these employees would work full-time elsewhere, aiding the district on their off days and working no more than 48 hours per week between the three employees.

PSI additionally sent officer-level offers to nine of the 16 Barrington Fire Department employees who have committed to join the district in January when they lose their job due to the district-village split. These offers are intended to fill the necessary positions of two captains, four lieutenants and three company officers.

The district’s staffing plan calls for 33 full-time firefighter/paramedics – at least five staff members (six maximum) at each station per 24-hour shift, including one officer and five firefighters. With part-time aid, the district is set to have a full-time equivalency of 39 employees.

Swanson said the 14 future district employees who are not currently employed by the village will start their district employment as early as next week, being allowed to test for officer positions over time.

Visit www.bcfpd.org for more information. The next regular district board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at Station 3, 22222 North Pepper Road.

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