Hanover Park officials are searching for property to build a new fire station No. 2, ideally north of Schick and south of Stearns roads.
The village has not settled on a price tag, design plan or timeline for the proposed relocation.
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But two consultants commissioned to study the department's operations say moving the station north would speed up the time it takes a second round of crews to reach an emergency. Officials also have labeled the station's location -- at County Farm Road, just north of Army Trail Road -- as a weakness in their new strategic plan for the next three years.
"We know it's a problem and that within the life of the plan we want to begin the initial steps of trying to find the piece of property," Fire Chief Craig Haigh said Friday.
Roughly four miles separate the station and the department's more modern headquarters on Barrington Road.
"While the other station is completely up to speed, this one is old and tired," Mayor Rodney Craig said. "We've had no complaints from employees about it. (But) we know it's something we need to upgrade."
If there's a working fire, say, on the south side of town, the County Farm station can deploy an engine company and an ambulance. But a second engine has to make the trek from headquarters, "quite a distance away," Haigh said.
In 2000, the village formed its own municipal department and absorbed the Hanover Park Fire Protection District's operations, including station No. 2.
As the suburb and demands for the department's services grew, the 21-year-old building became too small for the number of employees housed there, officials say.
Five firefighter-paramedics work out of the station during 24-hour shifts.
"Tight is the best description" of the building, Haigh said.
It also wasn't designed for the size of contemporary apparatus. And living quarters pose privacy issues for male and female firefighters.
If the department finds a new home for the station, the village would likely sell the existing site, Haigh said.
"It's in a really good spot for commercial development," he said.
But it's in an inefficient spot for the department, Haigh said. Nearby is Carol Stream Fire Protection District's Lies Road station.
"It doesn't make any sense at all," he said. "Right now, we're really on top of each other."