On Tuesday, Nov. 4, some of the voters in the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District will have the option to choose whether to disconnect from the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District and join Fox Fiver Fire and Countryside Fire Protection District, or stay with Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District as their fire and EMS provider.
For the past 132-plus years, Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District has been your fire and EMS provider. On Oct. 1 of this year, Elburn Fire Protection District opened Fire Station No. 3 in Lily Lake to better serve the northern end of the Fire District, while a new Fire Station No.1 is being constructed and relocated to Route 38 and First Street in Elburn to better serve the village of Elburn and the surrounding rural areas.
Both the opening of Fire Station No. 3 and the new Fire Station No. 1 have been done with no tax increase and no mortgage; therefore, no new debt. Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District has been planning for both of these for some time, so money has been set aside.
In addition to the new stations, money is continuously set aside for fire and ambulance replacement, and other fire and EMS supplies that typically need to be updated over time. There are no loans, no GO Bonds, no mortgages and, again, no debt.
Firefighter/paramedics of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District go through a testing process like other full-time departments, i.e., St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia. At the time of application, applicants must be an Illinois-certified Firefighter II, an Illinois Paramedic, and have successfully passed a physical exam prior to beginning the testing process.
Applicants must then pass a written test. A score is totaled, which determines whether individuals may be interviewed by the board of commissioners, and another score is totaled after that score. Merit points are awarded for military service, etc. Criminal history and background checks will be performed. And if hired, the individual will be put through Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District’s own firefighter-training academy so they can become familiar with rules and regulations and operations of the department.
Fox River and Countryside Fire Protection District uses contract firefighters. The district contracts with a company, and that company supplies the firefighters. While they may have a minimum standard, you don’t have any background on any of the firefighters or paramedics. The standards for contract firefighters and paramedics are far from what Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District expects from its firefighter/paramedics and paid-on-call personnel.
Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District has more equipment available at all times, as well as specialty teams such as Hazardous Materials, Trench Rescue, Fire and Arson investigators, and more.
If two of Elburn Fire Department’s ambulances are out on calls, a Tri-City ambulance is automatically dispatched to Elburn Fire Department Station No. 2 and will respond to any ambulance request within Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District until either Elburn Fire Department’s third ambulance is staffed, or one of the other Elburn ambulances becomes available. So Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District is never without ambulance coverage.
Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District is a member of Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS), where all surrounding fire departments can work together under a joint agreement when additional help is needed. In addition to belonging to MABAS, Elburn Fire Department has automatic mutual aid with other surrounding fire agencies, where the other fire departments are automatically dispatched to assist Elburn—depending on the type and nature of the incident—and Elburn is automatically dispatched to assist these same fire departments with their incidents. Some of these departments are: Maple Park, Kaneville, Sugar Grove, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and Fox River. Automatic aid is not un-common for any fire department, and it is not unique just to Fox River and Countryside Fire Department.
As a former paid-on-call member of Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District, I firmly believe that the quality of care that the department provides is second to none. Firefighters and paramedics treat patients and property with dignity and respect as if it were their own.
By voting against the disconnection, you will keep the same high quality of service that you have always had; you will continue to have the most current and up to date equipment and highly trained staff; you will incur no additional debt; and you will rest easy knowing that skilled professionals will be there when you need help the most.
Please vote against the disconnection.