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updated: 1/3/2011 10:57 PM

Who'll answer 911 calls? Kane Co. towns to find out

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Residents in St. Charles Township, Wayne and Campton Hills should learn who will be coming to put out their fires and rush them to the hospital in emergencies Tuesday. Fox River Countryside Fire/Rescue (formerly St. Charles Countryside Fire Protection District) trustees are expected to name one of three organizations their official emergency services provider at a special meeting tonight.

A citizens advisory committee met in a prolonged session Monday evening to review proposals by Metro Paramedic Services, American Emergency Services and the city of St. Charles. The committee developed a rating system for each aspect of the proposal including personnel provided, insurance coverage, training and qualifications. The committee paid close attention to the ability of each proposal to increase the level of service currently provided by the district's contract with the city of St. Charles. That contract expires at the end of April.

After nearly two hours of deliberation, Metro Paramedic Services seemed nearly out of the running. The committee repeatedly referred to Metro Paramedic Services proposal as "ambiguous" especially in terms of fire protection services. The proposal also had an unclear price tag as it only quoted the costs for half the personnel the district actually seeks. All told, the fire district is slated to have 24 emergency personnel employees. The committee had not rated the other two proposals as of press time Monday evening.

Assisting the committee was the district's newest employee, Greg Benson. Benson will serve as the district's technical director. He is responsible for coordinating the district's efforts to enhance emergency service availability with a background of knowledge most of the district's volunteer trustees lack.

Benson, from Wayne, served as a battalion chief in the Elgin Fire Department. Before that he served with the St. Charles, Aurora and Batavia Fire Departments. Benson will serve on a month-to-month basis as the district organizes into a full-fledged fire department.

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