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The Village of Lake Bluff has approached the adjacent Rockland Fire Protection District with a formal plan to provide joint fire and paramedic services throughout Lake Bluff and the unincorporated community of Knollwood.

“Knollwood shares our tradition of volunteer fire service, just as they share our schools and our parks,” Village President Kathleen O’Hara said. “We believe our partnership will create a better fire department and a better future.”

The plan proposes a three-year path to a full-service Knollwood - Lake Bluff fire department expected to save taxpayers at least $500,000 over five years. At the same time, the plan adds a full-time presence who will serve as both firefighters and paramedics. 

“This joint plan solves the pressing need for financially sustainable fire and emergency medical services in both communities,” Village Administrator Drew Irvin said. “These changes would also allow us to implement some of the newest innovations and best practices and, by doing so, improve efficiency and outcomes for our citizens.”

The plan differs from previous proposals by the City of Lake Forest and the Village of Libertyville, where firefighters from other communities would be responsible for protecting the residents of the Rockland Fire Protection District.

“This plan can ensure we are served by local, connected, and committed Fire and EMS professionals that live and enjoy serving in our community,” Lake Bluff Fire Chief David Graf said. “These two departments train and respond together and, in fact, work even today as though they were one department with two stations.