Residents in suburban Glenview will rally this weekend in an attempt to save a local fire station, saying that the move would put their safety at risk, but village officials say the closure would actually result in better service.
Fire Station 13 is the subject of the Saturday rally, according to organizers. Village officials plan to close the station on April 1, rerouting resources from the station to four other stations within the community.
The local firefighters’ union has reservations about the plan, citing a potential impact on public safety, and residents say that outside consultants have also come out in opposition to the plan, stoking worries that the closure could put their safety at risk.
“It’s the station that covers my home in case there’s an emergency, and I’m afraid that if the station is closed that response times will increase,” resident Kim Lombardo said.
Village officials, who voted unanimously to close the station, say they understand the concerns of the public, but say that the closure will help to better allocate resources around the village.
There are also plans to increase the number of ambulances available in the community, but it’s the closure of the station that is generating more attention.
“I haven’t met anybody that’s upset that we’re getting more ambulances,” Lombardo said. “We’re excited. The issue, of course, Is the location of those services, and so if you close this location entirely, then nothing is going to be as close to me as it is now.”
High school student Drew Duffy, who is helping organize the rally, says the village needs to listen to residents upset by the closure.
“We want the village to reverse its decision, or at least halt it temporarily, so that Glenview can vote in the upcoming election, residents can say their piece in a public and transparent format, and just make their voices heard,” he said.