Grayslake Fire Protection District will host a public grand opening for its newest station that was designed to improve response times to the Saddlebrook Farms development in Round Lake Park and nearby areas.
An open house and dedication ceremony for the district's third station are set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 24. The station is in unincorporated Lake County at 22405 W. Behm Road, near Route 60 and Peterson Road.
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Officials called the new firehouse "a genuine community asset" that will primarily protect the southwest corner of the 24-square-mile district. They said Sunday's festivities will be safety-focused and geared for families, with tours and refreshments after the dedication ceremony.
Firefighters began working at the station in mid-May. It's staffed 24 hours a day with three firefighter/paramedics.
Saddlebrook Farms, a 55-and-older community in Round Lake Park, is almost on the new firehouse's doorstep. Residents near Cedar Lake Road and Route 60 and those to the south in the Ivanhoe Estates subdivision also will benefit from the new station.
In addition, the station is close to a 640-acre mixed-use development the Alter Group has proposed for the village of Grayslake near Peterson Road.
Deputy Fire Chief Greg Formica has said it used to take eight to 10 minutes to reach district's southwestern zone from the closest station in downtown Grayslake.
Now, officials said, help will arrive within the desired four to six minutes if not sooner. Funding for the third station was approved in a 2008 tax-increase referendum. An owner of a $200,000 market value home was projected to pay an extra $100 annually to the fire district.
About $2.2 million was budgeted for the 10,000-square-foot firehouse in unincorporated Lake County. It's a single-story structure with equipment and truck areas, firefighter dormitory rooms and offices.
In addition to the namesake village, the fire district includes Third Lake, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Beach and unincorporated Lake County areas of Wildwood, Gages Lake, Highland Lake and Fremont Township.