Libertyville, Countryside fire departments collaborate in cold
The Vernon Hills-based Countryside Fire Protection District and Libertyville fire department joined forces last week during the polar vortex, with a special unit responding to dozens of calls.
The agencies staffed a unit with an extra firefighter/paramedic last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to compliment on-duty crews and keep ambulances and fire trucks available for true emergencies. A Countryside pickup was equipped with gas leak detectors, tools, a ladder, portable heater, battery jump pack, shovels, medical and other gear.
From Tuesday morning through Thursday evening the two departments responded to 94 reports -- 36 in Libertyville and 58 in Countryside. The special unit responded to 35 of those and assisted patient care and movement; aided stranded motorists; dug out fire hydrants; and handled gas and water leaks among other reports. The departments are dispatched from the same consolidated 911 center, so deploying the unit was easily coordinated and tracked, according to Countryside Chief Jeff Steingart.