ALGONQUIN – If the need ever arises, Pace buses would be able to help during an emergency situation in the village.
The village recently approved an agreement with Pace Bus to provide transportation services free of charge in a crisis.
For example, Pace would be able to provide buses to be used as warming centers for firefighters or to evacuate people from an area, such as for severe flooding concerns in a subdivision or from an area because of a chemical leak, Village Human Resources Director Todd Walker said.
This is the first time the village has had an emergency services agreement with a bus provider, Walker said. Pace has agreements with 136 municipalities and agencies. The agreements put in place guidelines and contact information in case of an emergency.
“Pace has received numerous requests from municipalities to assist in local emergencies and evacuations and to be a part of their community’s overall emergency plan,” according to a letter from Pace Deputy Executive Director Melinda Metzger to the village.
Patrick Wilmot, spokesman for Pace, said the bus service cannot pull buses off routes under the agreement. However, buses that are not in service, such as those finished with routes, can be sent in during emergency situations.
In McHenry County, Pace has agreements with Cary, the city of McHenry, McHenry Township Fire Protection District, the city of Woodstock and the Woodstock Fire Rescue District.
This year, Pace has provided busing for residents during some flood events, Wilmot said.
“It’s one of those things ... communities hope never have to use, but it’s a good to have it lined up, just in case it ever comes up,” Wilmot said.
Algonquin has been in the process of reviewing and updating its emergency management plans, Walker said. It recently renewed a mutual aid agreement with the American Red Cross.
Walker said that the objective of the agreements is to provide residents with recovery-related services until normal operations can resume.