Excerpts from MySuburbanLife.com:

It’s been a long time coming, and now the Villa Park Fire Department’s brand new fire engine is ready for duty. The engine was scheduled to begin service Aug. 14, after arriving at the department in early July. The new engine was paid for largely with a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The village was awarded the $432,000 grant in July 2014 … the total cost of the engine was $522,000, so the village contributed about $90,000.

The new engine replaced the village’s 26-year-old engine, which was donated to the University of Illinois’ fire academy for training purposes.

Fire Chief Ron Rakosnik said it was “long overdue,” and after undergoing training on the new engine over the past month, the firemen are very excited to put it into use.

Rakosnik said the new engine has airbags, LED lighting, air conditioning, nicer seating, more compartments and a different pumping mechanism, and it carries paramedic equipment.

This isn’t the first time the fire department has applied for the FEMA grant. They applied in 2012 and didn’t get it. Rakosnik said they reworked the wording in the application and reapplied at the end of 2013.

“We had a lot of equipment that needed to be replaced,” he said. “Now we’re on a schedule to replace our vehicles. We’re replacing our ambulances every nine years and our fire engines every 21 years.”