Ten malfunctioning traffic signal pre-emption devices in the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District have been upgraded to ensure the safety of firefighters and the residents.
The sensors, or "Opticoms," help firefighters, paramedics and police officers safely navigate through busy intersections when responding to emergency calls. The upgraded sensors are located at the intersections of:
• Algonquin and Brinker roads
• Algonquin and Hawthorne/New Sutton roads (Route 59)
• Algonquin and Barrington roads
• Algonquin and Palatine roads
• Algonquin Road and Willow Creek Church Drive
• Bartlett and New Sutton roads
• Dundee and Ela roads
• Dundee and Hawthorne roads
• Dundee Road and Northwest Highway
• Northwest Highway and Ela Road.
Planned Opticom upgrades at two additional intersections in South Barrington -- Algonquin and Penny roads, and New Sutton and Penny roads -- will begin once permits are approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The upgrades were authorized in April by BCFPD trustees.
"Opticoms are vitally important tools that improve the effectiveness of public safety service providers," said Fire Chief/Administrator Jeff Swanson "They help firefighter/paramedics reach emergency scenes faster and more safely, and significantly reduce the odds of them being involved in an accident while en route to a call."
Swanson adds that Opticoms improve the safety of surrounding pedestrians and motorists. They also help limit a department's liability and operational costs by reducing the potential for vehicular accidents.