My doctor is not at Good Shepherd…will you take me to his hospital?

Maybe.

Several factors must be taken into account when we are asked to transport a patient to a hospital that is not the closest.

First of all, it is mandated by the State that we transport to the closest hospital unless there is a clear reason to go elsewhere. Even when there is a clear reason to transport to a further hospital, there are limits on the additional transport time that will be tolerated. We must receive permission from the closest hospital to transport to the alternate hospital.

Most important is the patient’s condition. If we are concerned with the stability of the patient, we will transport to the closest facility without exception. These patients ne

Maybe.

Several factors must be taken into account when we are asked to transport a patient to a hospital that is not the closest.

First of all, it is mandated by the State that we transport to the closest hospital unless there is a clear reason to go elsewhere. Even when there is a clear reason to transport to a further hospital, there are limits on the additional transport time that will be tolerated. We must receive permission from the closest hospital to transport to the alternate hospital.

Most important is the patient’s condition. If we are concerned with the stability of the patient, we will transport to the closest facility without exception. These patients need to be stabilized immediately at the nearest hospital, and can be transferred later to the preferred hospital.

Other factors we consider involve our ability to continue serving our residents. If there is no pertinent reason for transporting to the further location, such as for minor injuries, we will transport to the closest hospital. This will allow us to return to service faster. Similarly, if we have multiple calls in progress, and will end up leaving the jurisdiction uncovered, we will have to transport to the closest facility.

We realize that patients feel more comfortable being treated at their preferred hospital. Please call us even if you want to go to a different hospital. The paramedics will evaluate the situation and explain the options. If we can accommodate your wishes, we will try hard to do so.

ed to be stabilized immediately at the nearest hospital, and can be transferred later to the preferred hospital.

Other factors we consider involve our ability to continue serving our residents. If there is no pertinent reason for transporting to the further location, such as for minor injuries, we will transport to the closest hospital. This will allow us to return to service faster. Similarly, if we have multiple calls in progress, and will end up leaving the jurisdiction uncovered, we will have to transport to the closest facility.

We realize that patients feel more comfortable being treated at their preferred hospital. Please call us even if you want to go to a different hospital. The paramedics will evaluate the situation and explain the options. If we can accommodate your wishes, we will try hard to do so.

How can I become a firefighter?

If you live in the area of the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District, the District would gladly consider you for its part time or paid-on-call staff. The District will help provide all training and equipment, and will pay you for each time you respond to a call through our contractor, Paramedic Services of Illinois. If you think you are interested, please contact the Fire District for information on how to arrange an interview with PSI.

If you are interested in full time employment, you must be a State Certified Firefighter III and State of Illinois Certified Paramedic to apply for a position with Paramedic Services of Illinois. Acceptance by PSI does not guarantee you will obtain a position with the District.

If you do not already have this training, consider applying for a paid-on-call position first. You may also check with other departments in the area. Many do not require training prior to employment.

How much training is required to be a firefighter?

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District helps to train part time and paid-on-call firefighters starting with an initial 40 hour basic firefighting course and weekly training. As able, these firefighters will work toward State Certification as a Basic Firefighter.

The full time firefighter/paramedics are all trained to the Firefighter III or Advanced firefighter level. This certification requires approximately 400 hours of training.

Once completed, most firefighters will continue on to other certifications such as Fire Apparatus Engineer, Fire Officer I & II, and Hazardous Materials Operations. Each of these certifications requires 40 hour modules of training, ensuring that the active firefighter will never be bored.

How much training is required to be a paramedic?

Before you can be a paramedic, you must become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). This course is typically 100-150 hours and requires a 6 month internship before you can be accepted to a paramedic class. The EMT class covers the basics of anatomy and physiology and includes extensive first aid training including the use of oxygen and CPR. In some jurisdictions, the EMT’s may also be trained in starting IV’s and in the use of defibrillators.

Paramedic training is comprised of 1200 hours of classroom and skills training. Paramedics are trained in reading EKG’s, starting IV’s, and administering medications. In addition, advanced training is received in maintaining airways including intubation and cryothryrotomies. Advanced training is also received in treating many serious medical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, shock, breathing disorders, and allergic reactions. Additional training is received in the care of severe trauma.

Each paramedic must receive a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education each year to remain certified.

What is a “dry hydrant”?

A dry hydrant is the pre-piping of a lake or pond out to a roadway. In many areas in the District, the nearest water supply may be a lake or pond. To be able to use this as a water supply, a large PVC pipe is laid into a deep area of the lake. This pipe extends back out to the street and is fitted with a “head” which allows a fire engine to connect its suction hose to it. The engine can then pull water from the lake and can pump it through 5″ hose to other engines at the fire scene.

Since the pipe is set low in the lake, freezing is not a problem. In addition, the head is fitted with a strainer to help keep from clogging the engine.

If you believe you have a lake or pond which would be good for a dry hydrant, please contact the Fire Department. We will determine if the water is suitable for a dry hydrant and will provide information for its construction. The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District will supply the “head” end of the dry hydrant.

Why don’t you use the water from my swimming pool, or the lake in my backyard?

Swimming pools and lakes are not reliable sources of water in case of a fire. If it’s winter, the pool is likely to be empty or frozen. The lake may also be frozen or be shallow and muddy near the shore. To “draft” water from a static source of water (as opposed to having it “pushed” to the engine from a fire hydrant), requires the use of stiff suction hose. Physics limits the distance that water can be pulled in this manner.

Each engine is equipped with hard suction hose. To be able to use a lake or a pool, we have to be able to drive a 40,000 pound fire engine to within about 12 feet of the water’s edge. If it is snow covered or the soil is wet, we risk getting the engine stuck and rendering it useless. In addition, pools have a very limited water supply, and lakes are muddy and prone to clogging the pumps.

How do you put out fires with no fire hydrants?

Almost all of the homes in the District are in non-hydranted areas. To deal with this, the Fire District has done several things.

First of all, each engine has a minimum of 1000 gallons of water on board (as compared to the City of Chicago which typically have about 300 gallons). A single, small fire hose flows about 150 gallons per minute, so the larger tank “buys” some time to set-up water from other sources.

Next, each front line engine is equipped with 1400 feet of 5″ hose. This hose is the size of a small water main, and can be laid on the ground to connect one engine to another.

In addition to purchasing engines with larger tanks, the District also owns two 3000 gallon tankers, or “tenders” as they are called in the fire service. These tenders are equipped with 3000 gallon portable tanks which can be placed on the ground and quickly filled through a large chute.

In the event of a fire, the 1st engine (the “attack” engine) typically starts dropping its 5″ hose at the end of the driveway and begins fighting the fire with its tank water. The first tanker follows the engine into the fire scene and supplies the engine with its water through a hose. The 2nd engine (the “supply” engine) positions itself at the end of the dropped hose and connects the hose to its pump. The supply engine can then send the attack engine its tank water further reinforcing the attack engine’s water supply and adding some more time to the operation. When the second tanker arrives, the tank is placed on the ground near the supply engine and is filled. The supply engine can now draw from this portable tank while the tanker goes for more water.

Since one tender making trips for water would not be able to deliver enough water quickly enough (it must typically drive several miles to a hydrant, connect to it, wait 3-5 minutes for the tank to fill, then drive back), other tenders are brought in from neighboring fire departments. The bigger the fire, the more tenders are brought in.

More complicated situations may require the use of additional engines to lay and supply additional 5″ hose, or may require that more than one portable tank be used.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District participates with neighboring departments in training in rural water supply techniques and has proven that they are capable of maintaining a water flow of 1000 gallons per minute. These efforts have resulted in the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District having an insurance ISO rating of 3, instead of the typical 9 given non-hydranted areas (the lower the number, the better). This rating results in an approximate 40-50% reduction in insurance premiums for many residents.

What are the flood lights on the stop lights about?

In 1999, an Opticom system was installed in the Barrington Countryside area. Each emergency vehicle was outfitted with a special emitter, and each stoplight with a special receiver. When an emergency vehicle with its warning lights on approaches an intersection, the light recognizes the vehicle and turns the intersection to green in the direction the vehicle is traveling. So the driver knows he or she has “captures” the light, the flood light on the stop light blinks in the direction of travel. In the opposite directions, the floodlights glows solidly to indicate to other emergency vehicles that another vehicle is approaching the intersection in the opposite direction. The cost for this system was funded by Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.

Why do the firefighters have to take their fire engine or ambulance to the store to get groceries, why can’t they just take one of their own cars?

Fire fighters take equipment when going to the grocery store in order to be at the ready in case a call comes in, which often happens. If they did not have their engine or ambulance close by and took their own vehicle instead, they would have to return to the station prior to responding to a call. This way if a call does come in, they can exit the store promptly and immediately be on their way to render assistance.

When grocery shopping, I see firefighters in uniform buying their groceries. Why do we have to pay for their meals?

You don’t. The firefighters pay for their own meals. However, their scheduling is such that they must do some of the purchasing during their shift, which lasts 24 hours. Neither the district, nor taxpayers pay for firefighter normal meals. So when you see your firefighters in the store with a cart full of goodies, rest assured it is their own money that is paying for the purchase.

Why did a fire engine come to my house when I needed an ambulance?

Most ambulance calls can be handled by two paramedics. However, when the call is more serious, the patient must be moved, and it’s in patient’s best interest, more help is often needed.

When staffing permits, four firefighter/paramedics staff an engine and and two on an ambulance. Both vehicles respond to all calls. The engine crew assists the ambulance crew until they are no longer needed, and if necessary, one of the engine paramedics goes with the ambulance to the hospital and is picked up by the engine later. If the “extra” paramedic is not needed, the engine returns to service. These engines are equipped with Advanced Life Support medical equipment, and since they are staffed with firefighter/paramedics, they can quickly respond to another ambulance call and initiate treatment until a 2nd ambulance can arrive.

When staffing is less, three firefighter/paramedics staff the engine and two on the ambulance. If the call sounds serious in nature, the Battalion Chief responds in a separate vehicle to assist.

What are the little green signs for?

Many of the addresses in the Fire District are based on Postal Rural Route numbers. This has resulted in house numbers being out of sequence in many areas. In addition, there are numerous homes with duplicate house numbers or which have addresses that indicate a street different than their actual location.

In an effort to more efficiently locate homes in the Fire District, the District instituted Project H.E.L.P. (Home Emergency Location Plan). Commonly referred to as the “grid system”, this type of system is used widely by Fire Protection Districts to provide an orderly method for identifying homes.

A number is assigned to each home based on its location from State and Madison streets in Chicago. The numbers in our area are either North or West numbers depending upon the overall direction of the street. In much of Lake County, these numbers were assigned by the County and are used as mailing addresses as well. In the remainder of Lake County and in Cook and McHenry Counties, the numbers were assigned by the Fire Department and are used for emergency reference only.

When the resident uses this number, it greatly speeds the process of finding the home in an emergency.

The cost of this program is paid for by the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.

How many firefighters & paramedics are at each station?

There are five firefighter/paramedics assigned each day to Station #1 and Station #2 and a Battalion Chief out of Station 1.

How many fire stations are there?

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District currently staffs two stations. Station #1 is located at 22222 N. Pepper Road in Lake Barrington. This location also houses District Headquarters in an adjacent, attached facility. Station #2 is located near the intersection of Routes 62 & 68 in Barrington Hills.

How many firefighters and paramedics work for the Fire Protection District?

The Barrington Countryside Fire protection District employs 33 full time Firefighter\Paramedics: two Assistant Chiefs who are both qualified Firefighter\Paramedics, a Deputy Chief who is a Firefighter\Paramedic, and the Chief who is a Firefighter\EMT-B, for a total of 36 Firefighters and 35 Paramedics and one EMT-b. We also have a Finance Director and an Fire Prevention Officer. In addition, there are approximately 26 part-time firefighters who answer calls on a part time or per-call basis.

How many pieces of apparatus does the Fire District currently have?

The District currently operates 17 pieces of apparatus ranging from large to small. These include:  Four engines, four ambulances, two tenders, three staff cars, one command car, two pool cars, two utility vehicles, and one brush truck. The District also recently purchased a military surplus Humvee which it is refitting as a brush truck to replace the current vehicle which dates back to 1987.

Who provides my fire and paramedic services?

Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District:

  • All of Barrington Hills with the exception of:
    • The N. Side of Plum Tree Rd., W. of Ridge Rd. (Fox River Grove F.P.D.)
    • The S. side of Plum Tree Rd., W. of Rock Ridge Rd. (Fox River Grove F.P.D.)
    • Areas N. of Spring Creek Rd. and W. of Meadow Hill (Fox River Grove F.P.D.)
    • Areas S. in Kane County (Algonquin F.P.D.)
  • All of South Barrington with the exception of:
    • The S. end of Pentwater (East Dundee F.P.D.)
    • All of Windemere (Hoffman Estates Fire Dept.)
    • Star Ln. up to Saucer Circle & Saucer Circle in Magnolia Pointe (East Dundee F.P.D.)
    • Areas S. of the entrance to the South Barrington Club (Hoffman Estates Fire Dept.)
  • Lake Barrington with the exception of:
    • Areas N. or E. of Kelsey and River roads (Wauconda F.P.D.)
    • Areas in McHenry County (Fox River Grove F.P.D.)
  • Inverness:
    • Areas E. of Ela Rd. & N. of Palatine /Rd. (Palatine Rural F.P.D.)
      • Braymore
      • Harrowgate
      • The far W. end of Abbotsford in Chevoit Hills
      • Shetland Hills
      • Whispering Pines
      • The Sanctuary
      • Inverness West
      • Inverlake
      • The W. end of Glencrest
      • Hillshire Estates
      • Cedar Knoll
  • Unicorporated Cook County:
    • Areas E. of Barrington and W. of Deerpath
      • The “College Streets” N. of Cornell
      • Hillcrest Acres
      • Fielding Place
      • Barrington Trails
  • Unincorporated Lake County:
    • Areas near Rt. 59 S. of Scott Rd.
    • Fairhaven
    • Cuba Rd. E. of 59 to Sylvander
    • Cuba Rd. W. of 59
    • Harbor Rd.
    • Hart Rd.
    • Old Barrington Rd. to Country Estates Rd.
    • Country Estates Rd.
    • Countryside Ln.
    • Flynn Creek Rd.
    • Prestwick
    • 18th St. through 24th St., Highland Rd., & Taylor St.
    • Brandt Rd., Merton, and Scott Ave.
  • Unincorporated McHenry County:
    • Hill & Dale Farm

Lake Zurich Fire Protection District:

  • Biltmore
  • North Barrington
  • Deer Park
  • Areas N. of Scott Rd. & E. of 59

Wauconda Fire Protection District:

  • Lake Barrington Shores
  • Lake Barrington not covered by the B.C.F.P.D
  • Timber Lakes
  • Tower Lakes
  • Wynstone
  • Port Barrington
  • Areas N. of Miller Rd.

Fox River Grove Fire Protection District:

  • Barrington Hills N. of Spring Creek Rd. not covered by the B.C.F.P.D.
  • Lake Barrington in McHenry County

Algonquin Fire Protection District:

  • Barrington Hills in Kane County

Carpentersville Fire Protection District:

  • Barrington Hills near the corner of 68 & Bateman.

East Dundee Fire Protection District:

  • The South end of Pentwater in South Barrington.
  • Star Ln. to Saucer Ct. in Magnolia Pointe (South Barrington)
  • Rt. 59 S. of Penny Rd.

Hoffman Estates Fire Protection District:

  • Windemere in South Barrington.
  • Barrington Rd. S of the entrance to the South Barrington Club.

Palatine Rural Fire Protection District:

  • All of Inverness not covered by the B.C.F.P.D.