Cities squabble over fire service near U of Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The leaders of the fire departments in the adjacent cities of Champaign and Urbana are squabbling over who should handle fire calls at 194 homes and businesses near the University of Illinois. According to The News-Gazette in Champaign, Urbana and Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger want to keep the current way of doing things. Under that arrangement, Urbana first responders handle calls at the properties even though they are in Champaign. That’s because Urbana has firefighters closer to those properties. But Champaign Fire Chief Gary Ludwig worries his city could be legally responsible if there is a problem with a call to any of those properties, even if its firefighters were not involved. The city of Champaign has proposed changes to the agreement now governing fire service in the area.