Minutes Matter

Minutes Matter

In an emergency, minutes matter. Today, it can take us eight minutes or more to arrive on the scene of an emergency at most of our resident’s homes. If someone is experiencing a heart attack, brain death can occur in around six minutes and a fire can fully engulf a home in the same amount of time. 

The location of our fire stations was chosen decades ago when our community looked drastically different than it does today. Since 1990 alone, the Village of Lemont’s population has shifted and grown by more than 239%.

As our community has grown, so has the need for emergency services. To respond to this need, we added firefighters/paramedics to our staff, but our fire stations can’t keep up. We are not able to house the nationally recommended staffing levels in our fire stations, two fire stations are located in areas that do not allow for the most efficient and quickest response to incoming calls,  we do not have room for up-to-date EMS, fire and rescue vehicles, equipment or training, and we lack proper firefighter gear storage space to reduce our first responders’ exposure to dangerous carcinogens.

Through Minutes Matter, the Lemont Fire Protection District is inviting the community to learn more about these challenges and potential solutions, including moving two fire stations to provide faster response times to nearly everyone in the fire district. 

Do you have questions? Please reach out and ask it here. “I have a question”

For a review of information shared at our previous open houses, Click here

Saving Time, Saving Lives Minutes Matter Community Engagement Program Leaders Present Final Recommendations

UNDERSTANDING THE CHALLENGES

The Minutes Matter community engagement process discovered that our community’s safety is paramount, yet our fire district struggles with increasing emergency calls driven by a growing population. Response times have stretched to eight minutes or more—significantly longer than the national standards and neighboring fire districts. This issue is further complicated by community growth away from our current fire station locations, resulting in longer travel times and exacerbating delays in emergency response.

Additionally, our aging fire stations do not adequately house the nationally recommended number of firefighter/paramedics or up-to-date equipment. These facilities also lack proper gear storage, which is essential for reducing our first responders’ exposure to carcinogens.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE

Based on the information learned and community input gathered, the Minutes Matter Facilitating Team has recommended several long-term goals and priorities to protect our emergency services in a fiscally responsible manner:

Response Times: Meeting the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards of six minutes or less should be a top priority. Quick response times are critical, as brain death can occur within six minutes during a heart attack, and survival rates drop 7% to 10% every minute without EMS care

Facilities: Relocate fire stations to ensure emergency responders can arrive within the nationally recommended time. Improve existing fire station layouts to decrease response times, provide separate gear cleaning and storage areas to reduce exposure to carcinogens, and ensure stations can accommodate up-to-date equipment and personnel

Training: Provide comprehensive training opportunities and ensure firefighter/paramedics have access to adequate facilities and equipment to keep the community safe.

Equipment: Update and replace aging firefighting and emergency medical equipment, and ensure proper maintenance and storage.

Communications & Community Involvement: Actively involve residents in planning, remain transparent about operations and finances, and clearly communicate the necessity of having strategically located fire stations.

Finance: Maintain a balanced budget while implementing these recommendations over a responsible timeframe. Ensure the community is informed about fire district funding and operations.

Click here to view the full final report

 

NEXT STEPS

The Board of Trustees will review the Minutes Matter report and finalize the next steps in early August. Based on the community’s recommendations, this could include a ballot referendum in November 2024, allowing residents to vote on a $46,195,000 bond to fund the recommended improvements, improve response time and protect our quality emergency services. 

The estimated cost for this initiative is approximately $19/month or $248/year for a $400,000 home in Cook County, and $22/month or $291/year for a similar home in DuPage County.

We encourage all residents to stay informed and engaged as we work together to address these critical needs. Your input and support are vital to the future of the Lemont Fire Protection District.

For more information, please contact the Lemont Fire Protection District office at 630-257-5461

Do you have questions? Please reach out and ask it here. “I have a question”