CRS Agreement

By Bob Balgemann


North Boone Fire Protection District III now is the official back-up for Capron Rescue Squad (CRS).

That means the District III ambulance, purchased several years ago, will be called whenever all three CRS ambulances are in service. So far that has happened twice, according to Owen Costanza, president of the CRS District Board of Trustees.

District III will be called whenever the need arises within the boundaries of its fire protection district. Overall, the CRS district is larger, covering 144 square miles of northern Boone County. Its service began in 1957.

Capron Rescue ambulances are stationed in downtown Capron. The first site, the original office, is located on the west side of Poplar Grove Road, just south of Quail Trap Road. The second site is located on the south side of Candlewick Lake, off Caledonia Road. The Candlewick station opened in 2015.

The District III ambulance is housed in the fire department’s station at Illinois 173 and Hill Street.

Discussions about the back-up agreement continued between officials of the two services after voters rejected a referendum that called for an additional property tax, allowing the ambulance from District III to operate within the fire protection district. It was close, with 52 percent voting no during the March 15 presidential primary election.

Ray Morse, president of the District III board, said at the time that meeting with CRS was “all about working together.” He recently was reappointed to the board by Bob Walberg, chairman of the Boone County Board, with concurrence from the full board.

In a follow-up interview on Monday, July 11, and in response to the agreement being approved, he said, “It’s been pretty good. The agreement we got is what we wanted all along. We’re getting along just fine with them.”

In addition to being called when CRS units are busy, Costanza said District III could be requested “when the on-duty paramedic feels NBIII (North Boone District III) is needed at the scene.”

Overall, he said, “CRS looks forward to continue our relationship and to evolve EMS service in the area.”

Final campaign contribution reports from the Illinois State Board of Elections have been posted, for the period ending June 30.

The report shows that overall, Friends of North Boone Fire Protection District received $22,050 in donations for the election and spent $21,907.41

The Friends organization was created on Feb. 9 for the purpose of lobbying in favor of the referendum. As such, it was required by the state to file a report of campaign contributions it received during various periods of time.

From April 1 to June 30, the organization received $18,800 from the North Boone Fire District III Firemen’s Association, which raises funds for the District III fire department.

Expenses were listed as follows: Chartwell Agency, Rockford, $18,130.28; Reno and Zahm LLP, Rockford, $2,545.75; and Brave Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Poplar Grove, $1,007.28.

Chartwell was formed in 2002 as PREtc, and became Chartwell in 2012. According to information on its website, its focus is on marketing, social media, public relations, event planning, and strategic facilitation and planning.

Reno and Zahm is a law firm that dates to 1923.

Bravo is a family-owned business with restaurants in Poplar Grove and South Beloit.

Costanza said previously that CRS did not receive any campaign contributions and is forbidden by state law from taking a position on such issues.



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