The Chicago Tribune has an article about the Des Plaines Fire Department receiving approval for a new ambulance.

Officials say that, for the first time in five years, the Des Plaines Fire Department will purchase a new ambulance.

The emergency vehicle comes at a price tag of $220,591, an expenditure fire officials said was long overdue. The last ambulance purchased by the fire department was in 2007, Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax said.

City staff members confirmed there are now adequate funds in the $4 million equipment replacement fund to cover the purchase, which Wax said will replace a faltering 2002 ambulance with 110,000 miles on it. The department currently rotates five ambulances, with many of the vehicles regularly out for mechanical problems, Wax said. Repair costs just a couple of weeks ago, Wax said, were in excess of $13,000.

The department had originally hoped to replace ambulances every two years, but has not maintained that schedule, he said. “All five of our ambulances have over 65,000 miles” on them, Wax said. “We know our call volume has increased by 9 percent and our three full-time, front line ambulances have been busier.”

Wax said the department’s current fleet includes a 2002 ambulance with 110,000 miles on it; a 2005 with 75,000 miles; a 2006 with 82,000 miles; a 2007 with 65,000 miles and a 2007 with 79,000 miles. Most vehicles are kept for 10 years, Wax said.