GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) — The decision to close a firehouse in Glenview has some residents and firefighters feeling blindsided.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar on Tuesday dug into how the closure may affect safety in the community.READ MORE: Families Fight To Keep Memorial Trees Offered Through Chicago Park District After Being Told Of Golf Course Plans
The Glenview village president said response times will not be impacted. But firefighters and residents think they will have to wait longer when they pick up the phone to call 911 for a fire truck or an ambulance.
They also feel like the village tried to slip the closure past them behind their back.
Engine 13 was making what could be one of its last runs for the Glenview Fire Department Tuesday night. Village trustees voted last month to close the firehouse, which would leave Glenview with four fire stations.
“Shock and disappointment,” said Jesse Gallagher, a Glenview firefighter and President of the Glenview Professional Firefighters Association. “We know that it’s the wrong move. We know that it’s a dangerous move.”
Gallagher said closing Station 13, 831 E. Lake Ave., will indeed impact response times.
“How much time it takes to get to an emergency has a real big impact on the outcome,” he said.
Kim Lombardo lives on the east side of Glenview, and her family depends on Station 13.
“If you take this station away, then I have to rely on a station much farther away,” she said.
Lombardo, along with her neighbors, wants to save the station.
“Having this station here is an insurance policy,” she said. “Minutes matter.”READ MORE: Mother Who Heard Shots, Death Of Adam Toledo Shares What She Heard, Neighborhood Insight
De Mar asked Village President Jim Patterson about the concerns about response times with the station closing.
Patterson: “Will they get there in a timely manner? Yes.”
De Mar: “You are confident that they will?”
Patterson: “I’m very confident that they will.”
Patterson said a study found Fire Station 13 and its single engine are active about 30 minutes during a 24-hour shift – one of the slower stations in town. Firefighters there will be moved to other stations.
“This isn’t about as much as saving money as it is reallocating; reassigning our resources,” Patterson said.
But that study also found that closing Station 13 comes with a savings of $1.25 million for the village. Patterson said he does not believe it will be that high.
“Once again, I would come back to, safety is our first concern,” Patterson said.
On Tuesday night during a virtual meeting, village trustees faced more backlash on their decision to close the doors on Station 13 for good – with one remark that the decision would cost lives.
There is an upcoming election in Glenview, and new trustees are expected to be elected. There are calls locally, at least among some, to pause the decision to close the firehouse until the new administration takes over.
The village president doesn’t agree with that.MORE NEWS: Protesters Pack Logan Square Over Police Shooting Of Adam Toledo
Meanwhile, Drew Duffy, a Glenbrook South High School sophomore, has organized a rally at Fire Station 13 on Saturday.