Submitted by Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District
Ten malfunctioning traffic
signal preemption devices located at intersections throughout the Barrington
Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) have been upgraded to ensure the
safety of firefighters and the residents they serve, the BCFPD Board of
The sensors, or “opticoms,” help firefighters, paramedics and police officers safely navigate through busy intersections when responding to emergency calls.
The upgraded sensors are located at the intersections of:
- Algonquin and Brinker Roads
- Algonquin and Hawthorne/New Sutton Roads (Route 59)
- Algonquin and Barrington Roads
- Algonquin and Palatine Roads
- Algonquin Road and Willow Creek Church Drive
- Bartlett and New Sutton Roads
- Dundee and Ela Roads
- Dundee and Hawthorne Roads
- Dundee Road and Northwest Highway
- Northwest Highway and Ela Road
Planned upgrades at two additional intersections in South Barrington _ at Algonquin and Penny Roads, and New Sutton and Penny Roads _ will begin once permits are approved by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
The upgrades were authorized in April by BCFPD trustees, when they were informed the repairs were needed. Citing the safety of emergency response professionals and the residents they serve as reasons for taking immediate action, the Board approved a contract to repair all malfunctioning devices within the District.
“Opticoms are vitally important tools that improve the effectiveness of public safety service providers,” BCFPD Fire Chief/Administrator Jeff Swanson said. “They help firefighter/paramedics reach emergency scenes faster and more safely, and significantly reduce the odds of them being involved in an accident while en-route to a call.”
Swanson said that opticoms improve the safety of surrounding pedestrians and motorists. They also help limit a department’s liability and operational costs by reducing the potential for vehicular accidents.