The new fire station is open for business at 22405 Behm Lane, near the intersection of Route 60 and Peterson Road. This station will house a three-person staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year near the Saddlebrook Subdivision in the far southwest corner of the district.
It took just 40 minutes for the first call to come in on the first day the station opened, May 14 at 7 a.m. The crew was able to respond to the Saddlebrook residence within a few minutes.
"We are thrilled to be here," said Grayslake Fire Chief Jon Christian, as he gave tours of the new station. "We will have quicker response times into subdivisions like Saddlebrook in Round Lake Park, Ivanhoe Estates in Mundelein and Lakewood Grove in Round Lake. We are working with our neighbors in Mundelein, Wauconda and Round Lake to provide coverage to this area. That is great because anytime we can share resources, it saves the taxpayers money."
Quicker Response Times
Serving a neighborhood like Saddlebrook used to take up to nine minutes from Station 1 in downtown Grayslake. Now, the response times are expected to be closer to three minutes.
Station 3 is a 10,000 square foot building that cost $2.3 million. It was paid for through a 2008 referendum for the new buidling, staffing and equipment. Lake County officials sold the land for the station to the district to help make the station possible.
The building will be staffed with three people, Christian said. They include Lt. Dave Torkilsen, firefighter/paramedic Sam Frankson, and firefighter/paramedic Greg Quentin.
"We're happy to be here to serve the southern end of the district," said Torkilsen, who has served with the Grayslake Fire Department for 14 years. "It's great to serve Saddlebrook and our Round Lake neighbors."
The new station has a special exhaust system forces the exhaust directly from the trucks to the outside to keep the rescuers healthy.
Neighboring Residents Thrilled
"The residents couldn't be any happier about this station opening," said Bob Cerretti, a Round Lake Park trustee who lives in Saddlebrook.
Lake County Board Member Diana O'Kelly said she represents the area in and around Saddlebrook.
"For them to have the station right here is a wonderful thing," O'Kelly said. "My dad lived in Saddlebrook before he passed away. I know how important it is to have rescue personnel close by. It is wonderful."
Overall, the Grayslake Fire Protection District - www.grayslakefire.com - includes 25 square miles and serves 30,000 residents. Station 1, in downtown Grayslake, serves the central portions of the district; Station 2, near the College of Lake County, serves the eastern portions of the district, and now Station 3 on Behm Lane serves the western portions of the district.
"This is a great day for the district and for the community," said Fire Commissioner Greg Koeppen.