Kirk Boxleitner/Staff PhotoArlington City Council woman Debora Nelson asks how often the city’s fire and EMS coverage contract with Arlington Heights Fire District 21 will be checked.

Arlington signs fire, EMS coverage contract with District 21

ARLINGTON — Less than a week after the three commissioners of Arlington Heights Fire District 21 agreed to a new Emergency Medical Services and mutual aid contract with the city of Arlington, the City Council voted unanimously to approve it Sept. 18.

ARLINGTON — Less than a week after the three commissioners of Arlington Heights Fire District 21 agreed to a new Emergency Medical Services and mutual aid contract with the city of Arlington, the City Council voted unanimously to approve it Sept. 18.

City administrator Paul Ellis explained that District 21 has agreed to pay the full balance for EMS and mutual aid services provided to the district by the city in 2015. In return, the city has agreed to provide Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support service to Arlington Heights, retroactive from the start of 2016 through the end of 2017, for 80 percent of the EMS tax levy receipts collected by District 21. Their commissioners approved the agreement Sept. 14, replacing the service pact that had expired at the end of 2014.

Ellis added that the city has continued to provide the district with service while negotiating a new agreement. Ellis reported that the city used the findings of a study by the Redmond-based financial consultant FCS Group to negotiate “an appropriate dollar amount” with the district.

“Under the new contract, they’re paying what it costs us to provide service,” Ellis said. “We’re in the black.”

When Councilwoman Debora Nelson asked whether there would be quarterly checks to ensure that the levels of service wouldn’t be disproportionate, Ellis noted that such checks would be conducted monthly, to make sure the mutual aid remained relatively mutual.

Ellis closed his remarks by sharing that District 21 is exploring the possibility of providing its own BLS service after 2017.

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