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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Johnna Kelly 630-407-6022

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Regional Fire Service Concept Discussed at County Board Committee Meeting

Today County board member Gary Grasso unveiled a concept to redesign fire and emergency medical service delivery through a voluntary, regional approach in DuPage County.  The preliminary proposal was developed over four years by the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference (DMMC) Fire Service Stakeholders group.  Grasso, who is co-chairman of that group, made the presentation at today’s County Judicial and Public Safety Committee meeting. 

The new concept calls for fire service providers to coordinate services through a quadrant system, the borders of which are defined by I-88 and I-355 in DuPage County.  Within each of these quadrants, fire service and emergency response professionals would be encouraged to share resources, engage in group purchasing practices, share training resources and standardize fire and rescue operational guidelines.   

“As a result of this proposal I believe citizens can expect a continued level of excellent service in fire protection as well as long-term, substantial cost savings and efficiency throughout the emergency response system,” said Gary Grasso, DuPage County Board Member, District 3.  “Additionally, we will be able to standardize training techniques and provide access to crucial equipment during emergencies.  Models such as this have already been proven to shorten response times and save lives.” 

Chairman of the Judicial and Public Safety Committee Grant Eckhoff, who has also been instrumental in these discussions, thanked the members of the fire service and emergency response community for their cooperation and input.  "The key to this plan is that over time it will maintain DuPage County's excellent fire suppression services, increase Emergency Management Services (EMS, often ambulances) and at the same time reduce the size and cost of government,” he said.  

The model will be further refined as stakeholders form their regional leadership groups and begin to explore ways to implement these recommendations into real-time emergency scenarios.  Regional leaders will be aided in these efforts by an executive policy group composed of various fire and EMS professionals along with elected officials and staff.  The executive policy group will work to assist the regional leadership as they pursue fire safety initiatives in the best interests of the residents of DuPage County.