Less than two months before they'll be operating independently, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District trustees Monday approved another automatic-aid agreement with a neighbor and authorized the hire of three part-time assistant chiefs.
Officials added an auto-aid agreement with the Fox River Grove Fire Protection District to ones they approved two weeks ago with the fire departments of Lake Zurich and Long Grove.
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Still being pursued are auto-aid agreements with the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, East Dundee, Palatine, Carpentersville and the village of Barrington.
The 48-square-mile Barrington Countryside district will stop receiving service from the Barrington Fire Department by contract on Jan. 1.
Both agencies could no longer agree on the amount of staff and equipment needed to serve the fire district's jurisdiction, which includes parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.
Despite a request from Inverness Village President Jack Tatooles, Barrington Countryside is no longer pursuing an auto-aid agreement with the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District to provide first response to the west side of Inverness.
Barrington Countryside board President Tom Rowan said three offers for a deal were rejected by Palatine Rural, which is seeking only a significant portion of property taxes in exchange for service to that area.
Earlier Monday, Palatine Rural board President Glen Grosch said he still expected a further meeting with Barrington Countryside to discuss the possibility of a deal.
Barrington Countryside trustees Monday did authorize Fire Chief Jeff Swanson to hire three part-time assistant chiefs from private contractor Paramedic Services of Illinois, to work a combined total of no more than 48 hours a week.
Swanson said these assistant chiefs, who will work full-time jobs elsewhere, will provide the next level of management in the department below himself.
Though a full-time deputy chief position is being created on paper, it will be left deliberately vacant to see if the department can get by without it, Swanson said.