Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Four Elgin fire stations are set to get new electrical systems equipment to replace antiquated or failing items.

The city council on Oct. 25 unanimously approved awarding a $65,290 contract to replace the generator and transfer switch at Fire Station 2 along Big Timber Road.

Fire Chief Dave Schmidt said there have been issues with the generator at the northwest side station for at least the last three to four years.

Council members also unanimously approved awarding a $127,000 contract for the installation of uninterrupted power supply systems and transfer switches in three fire stations and at the public works building.

Fire Station 3 along Royal Boulevard, Station 4 along South McLean Boulevard and Station 5 along Villa Street were built in 1991, long before the electrical demands of current technology. The three stations each have a generator that must be manually started during power outages, and the buildings’ electrical loads must be manually transferred.

Installing automatic transfer switches will allow the generators to start automatically when power to the buildings is lost. They will also be able to start without firefighters present.

The current uninterrupted power supply at the three stations can only maintain reserve power for about 15 to 20 minutes. That means it takes several minutes to manually restart computers, phone and station dispatch equipment. The new system is designed to operate along with the generator.

The funding for the new equipment will come from the city’s share of Grand Victoria Casino revenue.

thanks Dan