New changes for Anna, IL fire department

New changes for Anna, IL fire department

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - The Anna Fire and Rescue Department in Union County has made some changes to its schedule.

For more than 30 years, there was a firefighter on duty at all hours, answering non-emergency calls from the community. But, on December 30, 2014, that changed.

Fire officials say the Union County sheriff's office has always handled the 911 emergencies.

The difference is that the sheriff's office will now handle non-emergency calls as well, calls that the fire fighters used to answer.

Fire officials say this will allow the department to incorporate more initiatives in the city.

“What that does is it frees us up so that we don't have to sit here and answer the phones anymore,” Anna Fire Chief, Gary Rider said. “It frees us up to do a lot more fire prevention work, fire education, and some of the preplanning with some of the businesses around here.”

Rider says although the department is not open 24/7, firefighters will continue to respond when a fire emergency happens before, during and after hours.

“If you have a fire and you call 911, the sheriff's office will take your call and they will page us,” Rider said. “We have pagers, we also have a system that sends us text messages on our phones and when we get the page, we will respond, like always, to the fire call.”

The department's new schedule is from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.