Sunday marked the beginning of something new for two Illinois communities. The Village of Carbon Cliff and the City of Barstow officially consolidated their fire departments, for a joint effort to keep people safe.
On November 6, Election Day, Carbon Cliff voted and decided to become part of the Barstow Fire Protection District. That partnership became official this weekend.
Twenty-six fire fighters and EMTs were sworn into the newly formed Carbon Cliff-Barstow Fire Department.
As the new chief says, this will benefit everyone - from the people fighting the fires to the very people they swore to protect during Sunday's ceremony.
"The community is going to see double the staff, double the roster, improved communications systems. We're going from each having three trucks to have a total of seven different apparatus now. Carbon Cliff residents went from having no EMS from the fire department to having intermediate level life support through the consolidated districts," C.C.B.F.D. Chief Mat Schnepple explained.
Schnepple said residents will not see any new taxes or fees due to the consolidation.
The fire departments will continue to run out of separate fire houses, but there will now only be one dispatch center.
Carbon Cliff and Barstow are still seeking volunteer firefighters. If you are interested, you can go to either station to fill out an application.