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Northwestern Purchases Fire Truck for Evanston

September 23, 2009 | by Alan K. Cubbage
EVANSTON --- Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl is happy to announce the generous donation of a new fire engine pumper by Northwestern University to the City of Evanston.

"We are very grateful to Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro for this thoughtful and practical donation that will help save lives and protect property," said Mayor Tisdahl. "We are eagerly looking forward to a long, continued relationship with the University in our partnership to make Evanston an even greater community than what it is already." 

Northwestern University's purchase of a new fire engine will replace a fifteen year old front-line engine. The typical life-span of an engine is approximately ten to twelve years. Evanston has five front-line fire engines. They are the vehicles equipped with hoses, water and a fire pump to provide the high pressure necessary for the firefighters to extinguish a blaze. 

In the City's ongoing commitment to the safety and well being of all its residents, the Fire Department responded to 607 calls for service on the campus of Northwestern in 2008. Approximately 48% of the calls were for Emergency Medical Services. With this new equipment the City will continue to provide the same timely and professional service.

"We are pleased to fund the purchase of this new fire engine, which was the top priority of the City in our discussions with how we might assist the City financially," said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro.

The new engine has a 1500-gallon per minute pump and carries 500 gallons of water. It will carry three firefighters of which at least two will be paramedics.  It will also have all the fire equipment and advanced life support supplies needed for first responders.

Northwestern will donate $550,000 to the City for the purchase of the engine.

The engine will also serve as an Advance Life-Support Unit and carries all of the medical equipment found on an ambulance so that fire personnel can begin treatment of a patient before an ambulance arrives. This includes a heart monitor/defibrillator, advance airway management tools and medications for the treatment of anything from a heart attack, to an asthma attack to a bee sting. 

"The new engine comes at a critical time when several pieces of our fire fleet are in need of replacement during these difficult economic times," said Fire and Life Safety Services Chief Alan Berkowsky. "This new engine is a welcome addition to our fleet and will serve the citizens of Evanston as well as the students, faculty and visitors of the University for years to come."

The donation by Northwestern is a continuation of the University's financial support of the City of Evanston. Earlier this year, Northwestern agreed to provide financial support to the City for repairs to the city's salt dome, which stores road salt used by the City and Northwestern in winter weather.

"The City and the University have been partners in many areas to benefit both Evanston residents and the Northwestern community, including mutual support by City and University police and extending the University's fiber-optic communications system to city facilities," President Schapiro said. "We look forward to extending this cooperation through the purchase of this fire engine."