Excerpts from the ChicagoSunTimes.com:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel moved Thursday to deliver on the promise he made and ignored nearly four years ago: To put at least five more advanced life support ambulances on the street. He gave Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago a March 31 deadline to make specific recommendations on how many more ambulances Chicago needs — in addition to the 75 advanced life support ambulances — and where they should be located.

The cost of purchasing and staffing five more ambulances was pegged at $10 million. The mayor’s 2018 budget does not include that appropriation.

Santiago responded to the mayor’s mandate by sending a letter to the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 requesting a meeting no later than the second week of January to discuss additional ambulances.  “We are committed to adding up to five new ambulances to our fleet,” Santiago said in a statement.

The fire department has already completed a study to determine locations for the five new ambulances that narrowed the list of possible sites to fewer than 15.

The expansion can’t come soon enough to satisfy Local 2 President Jim Tracy. “On Jan. 2nd, the city was out of ambulances and Office of Emergency Management and Communications could be heard asking for any available ambulances to respond to a still and box at 2204 North Newland,” Tracy wrote in an email.

He ridiculed Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford for saying the city was “a little in the red, so we put more ambulances in service.”

The Tuesday shortage the union cited wasn’t the only sign of recent stress on an EMS system long viewed as inadequate.

On New Year’s Eve, veteran paramedics say there were 754 ambulance runs between midnight and 6:45 a.m. That sent response times soaring to sometimes dangerous levels.

Langford acknowledged there was some stress on the system that night, but he insisted that CFD paramedics were on scene in reasonable time and treated patients until more paramedics arrived in ambulances, referring to firefighter-paramedics assigned to engines and trucks.

thanks Dan