Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Mayoral challenger Paul Vallas went to city hall Tuesday to talk about his plan for increasing the number of ambulances deployed by the Chicago Fire Department, only to see Mayor Rahm Emanuel preemptively announce he’s adding more ambulances to the street.

About 45 minutes before Vallas’ scheduled news conference to criticize Emanuel’s handling of emergency medical services, the Emanuel administration sent out a news release announcing the fire department would be getting five new ambulances, and that fire officials would hold their own event to discuss the additions Tuesday afternoon.

If elected, Vallas said, he would move to add another 20 ambulances to the fleet by the end of his first term, to bring the total number to 100. The cost for the new vehicles would be about $50 million, which he said could be covered in large part by more efficiently billing insurance companies for emergency medical services and monetizing the larger ambulance fleet by getting private events such as music festivals to pay to have fire department paramedics on hand.

Vallas also said he would create a separate bureau for paramedics within the fire department, headed by a director with commissioner-like powers. He did not think he would need to reduce the number of firefighters on engines and ladder trucks in order to increase the number of paramedics to staff the additional ambulances he would purchase.

He suggested Emanuel has been punishing paramedics because their union backed Jesus Garcia in the 2015 election.

thanks Dan