The Barrington Village Board unanimously voted Monday night to approve automatic fire and mutual aid agreements with the Long Grove Fire Protection District and the Lake Zurich Rural Fire Protection District.
“We’re fortunate that we have a great relationship with our neighbors in Long Grove and Lake Zurich,” Barrington Fire Chief Jim Arie said.
The agreements are part of Barrington’s preparations for independent operations, which begins Jan. 1 when the intergovernmental agreement between the village and the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District expires.
Arie said mutual aid agreements are tremendously helpful in the event of a structure fire or a serious medical call.
“No department is able to staff up for any given situation,” Arie said.
Providing an example, Arie explained that when Barrington firefighters are called across the Canadian National train tracks from Barrington’s Station 1, the Lake Zurich Rural Fire Protection District would be called to staff and dispatch from the station near Route 22 and Route 59 as a backup. The call to Lake Zurich would be cancelled if Barrington crews are unencumbered by rail traffic and thus able to get to the call faster than Lake Zurich, Arie explained.
Barrington trustees were all in favor of the agreements.
“Hopefully, it will give the residents peace of mind that we have all that we need,” Trustee Robert Windon said.
Trustee Jim Daluga took time to thank the neighboring departments for their continued support.
“They’re excellent agreements and I thank them for coming to the table,” Daluga said.
Trustees also approved the hiring of a part-time executive assistant in the Barrington Fire Department.
Arie said he also is optimistic about signing an automatic aid agreement with the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District, but the details are still being worked out. Arie said both sides hope to have that agreement finalized and approved by the end of November.