Tuesday, May 22, 2012


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The Orland Fire Protection District (OFPD) Board of Trustees created the OFPD Task Force (Task Force) to evaluate the consolidation of OFPD and the Palos Fire Protection District (PFPD). Five members were appointed to the Task Force. Realizing that it was not possible to conduct a full consolidation study within a few months’ time, the Task Force’s purpose was to focus rather on the feasibility of conducting the full consolidation study over a several-year period and with the cooperation of all impacted parties.

The Task Force leveraged existing documents, studies and state legislation on consolidation as the starting point of their work. Each member contributed to research and discussion throughout the process. Eight benchmarks were chosen as the metric to determine full consolidation feasibility.

Critical benchmarks that the Task Force considered were: Tax Levy, Level of Service, Labor Agreements, Dispatch, Apparatus and Maintenance, Administration, Support Services and Facilities and Buildings. Each of these areas was evaluated with available information establishing the feasibility of recommending further, more in-depth study. Only significant impediments would be considered not feasible. The report provides detail on each of the benchmarks and important aspects related to the benchmark.

In summary, the Task Force provides recommendations on consolidation of the two fire districts. Consolidation can provide a more efficient delivery of service through a larger organization. Several steps are important to follow to properly make an appropriate determination on consolidation. Existing Illinois state law provides a framework upon which consolidation can take place.

According to Interim Chief Raymond Kay, “The challenge for elected officials in fire districts is to be fiscally responsible in reducing costs while maintaining the current level of service.  Maintaining or improving response times for medical and fire emergencies are a key component in considering consolidation.  Although many short-term savings may not occur at the onset, long-term benefits may be realized for each entity that participates in the consolidation plan.”

The full report will be placed online as soon as it is converted to PDF format for public review.