Thanks to Tax Increment Financing, a public financing mechanism, the Bartlett (Ill.) Fire Protection District was able to build a long-needed third fire station in a high-growth area.
“When the TIF came about in 2000, we made an agreement with the village to have property for a new third station,” Chief Kevin Heine said. “We had three failed referendums and growth was getting ahead of us. TIF paid for a large portion of the station.”
Station No. 3 replaced a paid-on-call fire station built in 1958. Cost-effectiveness and location were top priorities for the combination department. The 15,100-square-foot facility located on the corner of two accessible streets for quick response.
“It was a pleasure working with the Bartlett Fire Protection District on Station No. 3 to be able to help them make their desires and wishes for a much needed station on the west side of town a reality,” said Ryan Rathman of SRBL Architects, which designed the project. “The third station has allowed the pressures on Bartlett’s other two stations to be eased and has let the fire protection district provide quicker response times to the residents and businesses in Bartlett.”
The design includes two separate apparatus bays, one for fire and another for EMS response, to better protect fire responders from bloodborne pathogens and contaminants.
“With the increasing EMS calls, we needed to pay more attention to the EMS requirements,” Heine said. “And dividing the two has no effect on response times.”
The design includes concrete floors throughout the station for easy maintenance and stainless-steel countertops and appliances for durability. The station includes a 900-square-foot, carpeted training room that also provides community groups a space for meetings. The department also went green by including a highly reflective roofing membrane.
During the design phase of the new fire station, Heine was adamant that Station No. 3 be a working fire station, based on examples he’d seen in Chicago, 30 miles east of Bartlett.
“I’m used to visiting the Chicago fire stations — real working stations,” he said. “When I see a fire station that’s nicer than the houses our firefighters live in, something is wrong.”