With barely three weeks before it formally launches its own fire department Jan. 1, the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District announced Monday it has hired three battalion chiefs to oversee operations, two of them who until recently served as lieutenants with the Barrington Fire Department.
The new hires -- Ron Eilken, Scott Motisi and Jeff Tress -- will each command one of the fire department's three 24-hour shifts. They bring to the district 59 combined years of fire service experience.
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"Throughout their respective careers, Jeff, Ron and Scott have continually honed their exemplary leadership skills," BCFPD Fire Chief/Administrator Jeff Swanson said in a news release. "They have proven themselves as dedicated, motivated professionals who will make our residents proud. It is a privilege to welcome them to our department."
Eilken comes to the district with 32 years of professional experience. He previously served as Des Plaines' deputy fire chief, a training officer with the Wheeling Fire Department, and as fire inspector in Lombard. He began his career as a firefighter/paramedic with the Deerfield Fire Department, and has been a Barrington Countryside district resident for 19 years.
Motisi joins the BCFPD after resigning from the Barrington Fire Department, where he served for 10 years and attained the rank of lieutenant. He began his career as a firefighter/paramedic with the South suburban Posen Fire Department.
Tress, another former lieutenant who resigned from the Barrington Fire Department, joins the BCFPD with almost 16 years of experience. He spent more than two years with the Long Grove Fire Protection District before moving to Barrington, where he served for 13 years.
"Playing a small role in the creation of a new fire department is a chance to do something that will stand the test of time," Tress said in a news release.
Eilken, Motisi and Tress have developed and implemented an intensive training program for the district's new firefighter/paramedics, according to the fire district. Since mid-November, all three have been leading daily training drills at the BCFPD's two fire stations.
"Our new battalion chiefs possess a deep knowledge of the district and the challenges posed by its blend of residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural properties," said BCFPD board President Tom Rowan. "All three have the knowledge and experience to ensure that we provide the highest levels of emergency services to those live and work in the district, as well as those who visit."
After years of paying Barrington to provide fire protection and emergency services to its 48-square-mile jurisdiction, the fire district decided this year to form its own department when it could not resolve differences with the village over personnel and equipment needs. The district serves parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.