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updated: 8/25/2013 12:22 AM

Fire departments update auto aid agreements

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The Palatine Rural Fire Protection District, Palatine Fire Department and Rolling Meadows Fire Department recently agreed to update existing automatic aid agreements in an effort to provide safer and more efficient use of resources.

Palatine Road will be the dividing line that determines which department provides incident command at a fire, serious auto accident or significant emergency within the Inverness-based fire district's jurisdiction.

If the emergency is north of Palatine Road, the Palatine Fire Department's on-duty incident commander will manage the event. If the emergency is south of Palatine Road, Rolling Meadows shift commanders will assume command.

Officials agreed an update was needed because the designated incident commander to respond wasn't always the closest under the previous agreements.

"It didn't make sense for (Palatine's) coverage to be near us and vice versa," Rolling Meadows Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote said. "This is another step in the process of trying to see opportunities to provide safer and more efficient service."

In addition to auto aid agreements with Palatine and Rolling Meadows, Palatine Rural had its own incident command until last year. To consolidate administrative and operational duties, the fire district eliminated its shift commander and since then has shared its training officer in exchange for coverage.

Franzgrote expects the updated agreement making Palatine Road the dividing line will be implemented within a few weeks. Northwest Central Dispatch first needs to program its system to reflect the changes.

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