The Village of Palatine Fire Department, the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District and the City of Rolling Meadows are fortifying their current partnerships to further enhance the services they provide to residents of the three jurisdictions.
The three departments have intergovernmental agreements already in place, but new opportunities to partner are expected to increase overall efficiency and firefighter safety while producing a costs savings for all three departments.
“This is a concerted effort to train together more often; this ensures all three departments are trained at the same level on the same topics,” Scott Andersen, Palatine fire chief said.
Andersen explained not every training must be done in the same physical location, but all three departments will have the same type of training on the same day.
“This will ensure we work better as a team; on any given call a Palatine ambulance and Rolling Meadows fire engine, or any combination between the three departments could be on the scene of a fire,” Andersen said.
Increased firefighter safety and customer service also are expected outcomes.
“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,” said said Scott Franzgrote, Rolling Meadows fire chief.
Franzgrote said when firefighters are even more familiar with each team no matter what the combination, that enables better coverage and effeciency.
The departments will utilize a combined training schedule for 2013 and effectively train as one department, according to a press release from Chief Andersen.
“We’ve been working well together for more than a decade, this step is to formalize what we are already doing; it is a large undertaking and will make definite improvements for all involved, everyone will see positive results on this,” said Rich May, Palatine Rural Fire Protection District acting fire chief.
Cost savings will be seen, due in part, to one instructor completing trainings for all three departments.
For example, a training instructor from Palatine Fire Department would handle all trainings on a specific topic, instead of having three separate instructors, Andersen said.
In the spring of 2012, Rolling Meadows and Palatine Rural Fire Protection District began an agreement to share commander positions and training officers between them. Since then, the two have been meeting with the Village of Palatine to determine how that partnership could grow to include the village.
Planned trainings for 2013 will include hazardous materials, special rescue, emergency medical response practices and firefighting.
One main goal is to ensure a standardized emergency response.
“The take home on this is, we have been responding to calls together for many years, and now we are taking that relationship to the next level, to ensure we function as one team in every situation,” Andersen said.