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updated: 1/16/2014 11:18 AM

Barrington Fire Department rises to new role

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The Barrington Fire Department has experienced not only a smooth transition since its split from the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Jan. 1, but an opportunity to go above and beyond the call of duty, Fire Chief Jim Arie said recently.

During last Friday's particularly slippery evening commute, paramedics were called to the Barrington Metra station for a woman in her 70s who'd fallen out of her motorized scooter, he said.

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The woman was uninjured and refused transportation to the hospital, wanting instead to just carry on to her home at the Greencastle of Barrington assisted living facility, located a short distance away on Main Street.

But because of the treacherous conditions that night, she received an escort by both squad car and ambulance, with one of the paramedics blazing a trail for her scooter with road salt.

"I think that speaks volumes to what public service is," Arie said.

Since narrowing its focus from the 53 square miles it shared with the fire protection district to just the five square miles of the village, the fire department has seen its average response times drop from 3 minutes 27 seconds to 2 minutes 53 seconds.

Because the new average is based on calls since Jan. 1, however, the chief expects response times to drop even further once winter road conditions are no longer a factor.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District began serving its own territory outside the village with a new, independent fire department on New Year's Day. It includes parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, Inverness and unincorporated areas in between.

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