Palatine and Rolling Meadows fire
departments, along with the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District, have
updated Automatic Aid Agreements, which are expected to speed up response times
to fires and other emergencies.
Palatine Fire Chief Scott Andersen said Automatic Aid Agreements have been in place between the three departments for many years, and continually evolve and change.
“The idea is built around having the closest station respond,” Andersen said. “This is the next step where shift commanders [from Palatine FD] will handle calls north of Palatine Road, and Rolling Meadows will respond to calls south of Palatine Road in the rural fire protection district.”
Before the updated agreement was reached, there were separate agreements between the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District and the two villages. Now, command functions will be designated based on the fire house's proximity to the incident.
Andersen said the three chiefs have been working together over the last few years to identify all the possible ways to achieve the highest level of performance and customer service.
In January of 2013, the three jurisdictions announced trainings would be held simultaneously on the same subject matter, to further promote a team mentality.
Rolling Meadows Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote explained, “What we’re trying to do is utilize our resources on a larger economy of scale for cost benefit, but also for service delivery benefit and enhanced firefighter safety.”
Andersen said there has been a strong push to continue to look for efficiencies, spurred in part, by the sluggish economy.
“The big thing from my perspective, since we work so closely together, is that we can get an engine from one community and an ambulance from another – and make sure all of the responders are trained together and operating as closely as possible,” Andersen said.
“Our goal is to get everyone on the same page,” he said.