The next time a fire breaks out in Willow Springs, it will be Tri-State Fire Protection District that responds.
Tri-State, which provides emergency service to much of Burr Ridge, entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Willow Springs to provide emergency services to the village. Effective Oct. 1, the three-year deal will mean better service for the people of Willow Springs and additional revenue for Tri-State, said Tri-State Fire Chief Michele Gibson.
She said that while Willow Springs generates about 600 calls per year, Tri-State crews won’t see that kind of increase in its workload.
“We are already responding as aide to most of those calls,” Gibson said.
Tri-State also has provided dispatch service to Willow Springs for several years.
Tri-State has moved equipment and personnel into Willow Springs, making the station at 8259 Willow Springs Road the fifth in the Tri-State district. Station 4, at 63rd Street and Western Avenue in Willowbrook, will serve as administrative space.
Gibson said calls for service in the northern part of Tri-State’s coverage area, near Station 4, have decreased as Westmont and Clarendon Hills have incorporated areas previously covered by Tri-State. Station 2, at 419 Plainfield Road in Darien, will now service those calls.
The agreement promises Tri-State $500,000 from the village of Willow Springs in the first year of the three-year deal. Tri-State will receive $537,000 and $575,000, respectively, in 2014-15 and 2015-16. After three years the agreement will be re-evaluated.
Gibson said the deal will not require Tri-State to hire any personnel or buy any equipment. Willow Springs’ part-time firefighters have been replaced with Tri-State’s full-time firefighters, Gibson said.
Willow Springs Village Administrator William Murray said the agreement is a good deal for all involved.
“We have never had a full-time fire department before,” said Murray. The department had consisted of professional firefighters from other districts working in Willow Springs on a part-time basis.
Murray said the deal with Tri-State will mean better equipment and will eliminate the need for the village to replace its aging vehicles.
“This is a great thing on a lot of different levels,” he said.