Posts Tagged Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax

Des Plaines Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the

Des Plaines Police Chief William Kushner will take the position of director of public safety when Fire Chief Alan Wax retires on Oct. 18. Kushner will oversee operations of both the police and fire departments during the search for a new fire chief.

Kushner’s salary will increase 5% while he serves as director of public safety, then return to its current level of about $160,000 once a full-time fire chief is in place. The city manager estimates the process to hire a new fire chief will take 6-8 months. In the meantime, he plans to contract recruiters to create and distribute ads to attract candidates. Despite acknowledging that having a permanent public safety director overseeing both departments would save money, he said it’s better to have separate chiefs leading each agency.

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Des Plaines Fire Department news

Excerpts from

After more than 10 years of service with the Des Plaines Fire Department, Chief Alan Wax has announced his retirement on October 18, 2019.

Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax

Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax


Chief Wax joined the Des Plaines Fire Department in October 2009, bringing with him 30 years of experience as a highly respected and dedicated firefighter.  He is looking forward to spending more time with his family and the opportunities that the future may bring.

Chief Wax was an active participant in regional and state-wide public safety initiatives, seconded only by his ongoing involvement with nonprofit organizations such as Operation North Pole and local community-minded groups. 

In response to Chief Wax’s announcement, the city will appoint Police Chief William Kushner as Director of Public Safety. He will oversee the administration of both the fire and police departments, focused on enhancing the continuity of the city’s highly respected emergency response services, while continuing to serve as police chief.

With over 40 years of public safety experience and leadership, Chief Kushner will optimize the mutual collaboration that currently exists between the city’s fire and police personnel.

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Fire service pensions

Excerpts from the

Pingree Grove & Countryside Fire Protection District Chief Mitch Crocetti receives $117,500 a year in his current role, but his pension after his previous 30-year career with the Wood Dale Fire Department also pays him $124,037 annually.

Crocetti is one of at least 15 suburban fire chiefs who are drawing six-figure salaries while receiving pensions and building toward eventual second public pensions, according to a Daily Herald analysis of fire pension records.

He said smaller fire departments benefit by being able to pay lower salaries to retirees on pensions. “That’s how a lot of these smaller departments can afford to have experienced, educated chiefs,” Crocetti said. “Without these kinds of benefits, I don’t know how a smaller community could draw someone.”

However, Naperville Republican state Rep. Grant Wehrli wants to end the perk. He plans to introduce a bill next session that will mirror the legislation he successfully championed last year for police. When that law becomes effective Jan. 1, police retirees who are collecting pensions can’t take new police jobs and be eligible for second pensions.
“It’s an egregious abuse of the pension systems that allows someone to collect a retirement benefit while still working in the same line of work,” Wehrli said.

The 15 chiefs average an annual salary of $137,597 while also receiving pension payouts that average $104,762.

Carol Stream Fire Protection District Chief Robert Hoff makes more from his Chicago Fire Department pension — $122,472 — than he does from his current salary of $113,645. All the others receive more from their current salary than from their pensions.

With his $161,709 salary and $125,624 pension from the Highland Park Fire Department, a total of $287,333, Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax receives the highest combined annual payout of the 15 chiefs. Next year, his 10th with Des Plaines, he becomes vested in his new pension program.

“It’s triple dipping,” argued Madeleine Doubek, vice president of policy at the Chicago-based Better Government Association. “I think most of us believe a pension is supposed to be something that you collect when you’re no longer working a full-time job, and that’s clearly not what’s happening here.”

In Warrenville, Dennis Rogers Jr. is paid to be fire chief while also receiving an Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pension as a former sheriff’s deputy. He also participates in the Warrenville Fire District’s pension plan and eventually will be eligible to receive that second pension.

Several more fire chiefs are collecting pensions from their former fire departments or districts but opted for different retirement benefits at their new departments. Some received as much as 15 percent of their annual salaries paid into 401(k)-like retirement programs designed for public employees.

Firefighters contribute about 9.5 percent of their pay toward their eventual pensions. Most fire pension funds expect a 7 percent return on investment income each year. The strength of the fund’s investment returns determines how much money taxpayers owe the fund each year. If the investment target isn’t reached, taxpayers have to pay more.
However, most towns or fire districts haven’t fully funded pensions for years, so most taxpayers these days wind up paying more each year to make up for previous years’ shortfalls.

Crocetti complained that funding shortfalls from the past are the main reason public pensions have come under attack. “I don’t get the right to say I’m going to contribute less than what I’m supposed to and I’ll catch up in a couple years,” he argued. “That’s what started this mess, and now we’ve lost out on all that investment income that we’ll never get back.”

Firefighters get 75 percent of their final salary as a starting pension after 30 years of work. They can begin collecting at age 50. The pension grows 3 percent each year.

Most other public employees can’t have multiple pensions because jobs like teachers, librarians, judges, legislators, city workers, and university professors are all handled under statewide retirement systems. That means a librarian can’t retire from one town after 30 years and start collecting a pension, then go work at a library in a neighboring town and start the pension contribution process all over again. Most other public workers have to put in more than 40 years on the job to maximize their retirement benefits as well.

Meanwhile, there are more than 600 separate and autonomous police and fire pension boards in the state, and that’s the main reason firefighters and police have been allowed to collect pensions and start new ones at different departments.

“There are all kinds of groups out there that recognize the inefficiency of 600 different pension funds,” Doubek said. “There are clearly more efficient ways to do this and not perpetuate the situation, and the legislation for the police ought to be a model for all public employees.”

Wehrli’s bill ends that pension loophole for police in a few weeks. While police won’t be able to start contributing to a new pension from another department or municipality in most cases, theoretically they could get a job with a state agency, as a teacher or even as a legislator and start building a new pension.

thanks Martin

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Des Plaines Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

The Des Plaines Fire Department is seeking to improve its Insurance Service Office score from a Class 2 to a Class 1 when it will be rated in the fall.

Fire Chief Alan Wax said the department is currently less than one percentage point away from being rated Class 1.

ISO scores are based on data compiled regarding insurance risk. Fire departments are given a rating from Class 1 to Class 10, with a Class 1 signifying the least insurance risk. Personnel, equipment, coverage, training practices, fire codes, water supply, and emergency communications are all considered when assigning the score.

Though an improved fire department ISO score for the city won’t automatically have an effect on insurance premiums, according to staff from Des Plaines-based Insurance Adjusters Group, it could be a benefit to property owners looking to get a new policy or renew an old one. Only some insurance agencies take ISO scores into account.

thanks Dan

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Increase in ambulance fees for area fire departments

Excerpts from the

Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance transport fees are set to increase from $500 to $650 for residents of Des Plaines, Park Ridge, and the North Maine Fire District as of May 1, based on a request from Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax that was shelved by the city council Monday night for an official vote at the April 18 meeting.

Wax explained in a recent memorandum to City Manager Mike Bartholomew that the Des Plaines Fire Dept. has not raised fees since spring 2011, despite annual increases in costs.

At that time, Des Plaines ambulance fees were established to be the same as those in Park Ridge and North Maine. These departments often provide backup for each other during large emergencies, so residents from all three communities receive resident rates from each department.

“It allows out-of-pocket costs to the patients to be waived in the same circumstances,” Wax said.

North Maine maintains a similar resident rate agreement with Niles, which has further agreements with Morton Grove and Skokie.

Wax said residents should have zero out-of–pocket expenses related to the fees. He added that the fee would be waived for those in the resident coverage area who do not have insurance.

In an annual survey of 107 ambulance transport fee rates in the Chicago metropolitan area, published by the Naperville Fire Dept. in November 2015, Des Plaines fees proved to be “below the average of the surveyed departments,” according to Wax.

Data from the survey shows that the average rate for BLS in the area is $643 while Des Plaines and its partner communities charge only $500.

Patients who need more complex care are split into two sections: Advanced Life Support Level 1 (ALS-1) and Advanced Life Support Level 2 (ALS-2). Fees for these services are currently $700 and $950 respectively in the Des Plaines area.

With the new fee rates, ALS-1 rates would go up to $800, while ALS-2 rates would stay the same, as well as the previously established $15 per-mile fee. According to the survey, average ALS-1 rates for the area are $807 and average ALS-2 rates come in at $960.

Non-resident fees for BLS are going up from $650 to $825, from $950 to $1,025 for ALS-1, and from $1,150 to $1,175 for ALS-2. These have also been changed to be more in line with the area average.

Altogether, new rates could generate an extra $87,000 in revenue for the city each year, according to Wax. He said that Des Plaines already receives $1.5 million annually, though that total does not cover the cost of ambulance services.

At Monday night’s meeting, aldermen expressed support for the fees. However, they chose to wait on an official vote until city councils and village boards from the other communities weigh in.

Park Ridge, North Maine, Niles, Morton Grove and Skokie must adopt the same fees due to their backup service agreements.

According to Wax, fire chiefs from the six communities have agreed to seek the increases.

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Des Plaines to review hiring criteria for firefighters

The Chicago Tribune has an article about a requirement for applying to be a firefighter in Des Plaines

Des Plaines Ald. James Brookman, 5th, would like the Des Plaines Fire Department to ditch a requirement that mandates prospective firefighter candidates have a paramedic license to qualify for the job. The Des Plaines City Council recently approved an amendment that allows the city’s board of fire and police commissioners to set a minimum passing score for firefighter applicants on the department’s written exam.

Brookman, a former firefighter, used the consent agenda item as an opportunity to air his grievances with a city rule that says only applicants currently licensed with the Illinois Department of Public Health as a paramedic or those who hold a current certificate from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians as a paramedic may take the exam.

Brookman argued that the department, with the current rule in place, was limiting its pool of applicants to “an extremely small percentage of all people. We should hire the best people we can find and then train them,” he said.

But training an applicant who does not currently hold a paramedic license costs in the range of $60,000 per person, Fire Chief Alan Wax said. The city’s fire department hasn’t always required firefighter applicants to be licensed paramedics. The Des Plaines Board of Fire and Police Commissioners approved the licensure requirement in August 2006, Wax said following the meeting.

Before that, applicants with paramedic licenses received preference points during the hiring process, he said.

State law allows municipalities to require the license before taking the exam, Wax said. He added that many prospective candidates recognize that the license “gives them an advantage” and are taking the initiative to get one. But Brookman argued that the department could benefit greatly from individuals with varied backgrounds — people that may not have a paramedic license but carry potentially valuable skill sets in other areas.

Des Plaines’ requirement is “not unique” in Illinois, said Illinois Firefighter’s Association President John Swan … many municipalities have instituted the requirement because it “basically saves the communities a lot of money.” Often, Swan said, a city hires a firefighter without a license, pays for their training and then their new hire decides to leave the department.

Wax said it’s also possible that a new hire may fail to pass the requirements to earn a paramedic license despite city-funded training. In that case, the city coffers would be drained of thousands of dollars and the department would also have to begin the hiring process from square one.

Brookman’s arguments, however, convinced Ald. Patricia Haugeberg, 1st, chair of the council’s public safety committee to take the issue up with the board of fire and police commissioners. Board Commissioner Debra Lester asked that the council give the board time to gather more information. She added that she did not think the issue was one which warranted a simple yes or no answer.

Now that the requirement is up for debate, a written firefighter exam previously scheduled for mid-September will be delayed, Wax said.

thanks Dan

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Des Plaines ambulance controversy (more)

The Daily Herald has an article about the approval of a new ambulance in Des Plaines following some controversy:

There won’t be much that distinguishes the Des Plaines Fire Department’s new $231,330 ambulance once it hits the street later this year — except the story of how it came to be.

The city council voted 5-4 Monday to purchase a so-called horizontal exhaust ambulance as part of an annual replacement program, with Mayor Matt Bogusz casting a tiebreaking vote. The decision came after a vote last month to purchase a vertical exhaust ambulance, which supporters argue is a safer and healthier alternative because it releases potentially dangerous diesel fumes away from firefighters and the public through a vertical smoke stack — not a tailpipe.

Bogusz, who said the vertical exhaust ambulance was a “solution in search of a problem,” asked aldermen on March 17 to reconsider their first vote and approve a resolution to rescind. One alderman, Jack Robinson of the 2nd Ward, originally voted for a vertical exhaust ambulance but switched his vote.

Aldermen who have been in favor of a vertical exhaust ambulance all along cried foul over how the process was conducted since the council’s first vote March 3 — much of it directed at the mayor, who placed the resolution to rescind on the council’s March 17 meeting agenda.

Robinson, providing his first public explanation for switching his vote, said he “reanalyzed” his vote following the March 3 meeting.

Fifth Ward Alderman Jim Brookman, a former Des Plaines firefighter who proposed the vertical exhaust system for ambulances, joined Haugeberg and 4th Ward Alderman Dick Sayad in saying that the council should look at changing its rules to prevent the mayor from placing resolutions to rescind on future meeting agendas.

Again arguing his case for a vertical exhaust ambulance, Brookman pointed to studies linking diesel exhaust fumes to cancer, and mentioned three Des Plaines firefighters by name who died from cancer. He said the price to buy a vertical exhaust ambulance would only be an extra $1,500, plus another $45,000 to retrofit exhaust capture systems at all three fire stations.

Fire Chief Alan Wax said newer ambulances with horizontal exhaust dissipate fumes more quickly than old ambulances, and meet newer EPA standards. Neither fire department personnel nor the public was being exposed to dangerous levels of exhaust from ambulances, he added.

“This is based on facts, not emotions,” Wax said.

“The implication this comes from emotion, I find highly offensive,” Brookman responded. “You think I’m emotional?” he told Wax. “I think you lack professional judgment in this area.”

Thanks Dan

Last week, the JournalOnline had an article looking into possible motivations behind the controversy surrounding the vertical exhaust ambulance purchase:

Ald. Jim Brookman (5th) yesterday (Thursday) denied that his push to change the exhaust system on Des Plaines’ ambulances is motivated by aiding a worker’s compensation claim for his deceased friend.

Tom Veverka was employed as a Des Plaines firefighter between October 1972 and April 2009. In a claim against the city filed with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, Veverka claimed he developed lung cancer as a result of exposure to diesel fumes during his 37 years with the fire department. Veverka also suffered from brain cancer and passed away on Sept. 18, 2009.

That claim was filed on July 28, 2009, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission website. The next hearing date is scheduled for May 9 in downtown Chicago.

Tom Veverka’s widow, Marianne Veverka, is now the petitioner on that worker’s compensation claim. Documents recently provided to the Journal & Topics Newspapers state that she is seeking as much as $500,000 as a settlement from the city for a death benefit. The city had previously offered $15,000, which was rejected.

The city of Des Plaines group health insurance covered about $400,000 in medical bills for Tom Veverka while he was alive, according to one of the documents. Further, Tom Veverka was a longtime smoker, consuming a pack and a half of cigarettes a day for 20 years until 2008, the document also claims.

Brookman, a firefighter himself since 1974, had a friendship with Veverka through their entire careers. He testified during hearings on Veverka’s workers’ compensation claim in 2013. Brookman said Thursday he was summoned to testify as a former fireman who had relevant knowledge of the case going back his entire career.

Brookman has been fighting for the city to change the exhaust systems on its ambulances. The issue has been discussed at several city council meetings since the most recent ambulance purchase came before aldermen in early March. Brookman, citing studies conducted by health organizations, has argued expelling the fumes at ground level is harmful to firefighters and paramedics who must work near the vehicles when they are responding to calls.

Brookman became emotional several times during recent council meetings when mentioning Tom Veverka and his exposure to ambulance fumes. To decrease that risk, Brookman has advocated for vertical exhaust systems to be installed on new ambulances. A vertical system would transfer exhaust up the vehicle, releasing the materials in the air where they are less likely to be inhaled by people on the ground.

Brookman said during Monday’s discussion on a new horizontal exhaust ambulance that the city should be held accountable if any health impacts result from the diesel fumes. It was a claim he repeated to the Journal & Topics Thursday.

“If any harm comes from that choice the city should be held accountable,” Brookman said. He admonished fellow city officials for deliberately choosing not to address the dangers.

Ald. Joanna Sojka (7th) Monday said she was disappointed in Brookman’s statements. “I have no idea why you would say that and open the city to such a risk,” she said during the council meeting.

When questioned by the Journal, Brookman denied that he had made such statements to bolster Veverka’s workers’ compensation claim against the city. “It has nothing to do with this at all,” Brookman said of the relationship between the workers’ compensation case and his fight for better exhaust systems. He specified that he never claimed Tom Veverka died due to diesel exhaust. “I’m just upset that people like Tom Veverka are exposed to an additional risk,” he said.

He called the Journal’s questions “insulting.” He also said his efforts had nothing to do with Marianne Veverka’s one-time ownership of his home at 702 Howard Ave., Des Plaines.

Brookman and his wife, Carla, a former alderman herself, purchased the lot near Lake Park in late 2013 for $175,000, according to records from the Cook County Recorder of deeds. Brookman took out a construction mortgage on the property for $1,287,400 on Aug. 13, 2004. The Brookmans then took out a second mortgage on the property on July 19, 2005 for $677,700. The bank began foreclosure proceedings against the property in February 2010, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

The Brookmans sold the home on Dec. 13, 2010 to James Nelson and Marianne Veverka for $495,000. Marianne Veverka sold her interest in the home to Nelson just a few weeks later on Jan. 12, 2011, making him the sole owner of the home.

However, the Brookmans continue to reside at the property. Following that sale the property taxes on the home dropped dramatically.

Cook County gave the home an equalized assessed value of $429,482 in 2008 and an assessed value of $152,918. Brookman paid $26,950 in property taxes that year.

The equalized assessed value in 2009 was $331,421. The plot was initially assessed at $124,633 but Brookman successfully appealed to the Cook County Board of Review and the assessment was lowered to $104,276. For the 2010 taxes Brookman again appealed to the Board of Review and the assessed value went from $97,893 initially down to only $50,000. That was also the year he sold the home to Nelson and Veverka.

As the recession went on between 2008 and 2010 the equalized assessed value of the home fell from $429,482 to $159,000. As a result, the real estate taxes on the property went from $26,950 in 2008 to $11,428.92 two years later following the sale of the property. Brookman said Veverka’s brief ownership of his home was a private real estate matter that did not influence his advocacy for a vertical ambulance exhaust system. “She is not investing in this property at all,” he said of the current ownership of the home.

thanks Drew

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Des Plaines ambulance controversy (more)

The Chicago Tribune has an article which follow a previous post concerning a decision to cancel the purchase of an ambulance that had been approved in Des Plaines.

Weeks after Des Plaines leaders nixed a previously approved ambulance purchase, three aldermen want the Illinois attorney general’s office or an outside legal firm to examine the validity of that move.

The three aldermen — Patricia Haugeberg, Dick Sayad and Jim Brookman — have asked to talk about the topic at the upcoming City Council meeting, city documents show.

A resolution approving the ambulance purchase passed in a 5-3 vote at the March 3 City Council meeting. A resolution rescinding that decision passed at the March 17 meeting, with Mayor Matt Bogusz breaking a 4-4 tie.

That initial approval came following intense debate over whether the exhaust pipe should be located underneath the ambulance chassis — called a horizontal exhaust system — or above the ambulance in a vertical exhaust system.

Citing the frequency with which ambulances idle on the scene of service calls, Brookman — a former Des Plaines firefighter — successfully lobbied his colleagues to reject the horizontal system that he said exposes firefighters and patients to potentially dangerous exhaust fumes. The city’s own fire chief, however, disagreed with the need for the vertical exhaust system.

“Right now, our practices don’t put people in the way of fumes,” Chief Alan Wax said at the time of the purchase approval.

In introducing the rescission resolution at the March 17 meeting, Bogusz said the council had found “a solution in search for a problem.”

He said selecting an ambulance with a vertical exhaust system was unnecessary and the move was beyond the scope of the council.

“It’s not a policy decision. It’s an operation decision,” Bogusz told aldermen, according to video of the March 17 meeting posted on the city’s website. “This body needs to work to stick a little closer to policy.”

thanks Dan

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Des Plaines ambulance controversy

The Daily Herald has an article about an unusual turn of events surrounding the purchase of a new ambulance in Des Plaines:

Des Plaines was set to become one of only a handful of suburban municipalities with a vertical exhaust ambulance, which city council supporters say is safer than the current fleet of vehicles that releases harmful diesel fumes at ground level near firefighters and the public.

Others, including Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax and Mayor Matt Bogusz, say purchasing an ambulance with a vertical exhaust system may have been trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. That’s why Bogusz asked the council Monday to rescind the purchase., [and] cast the deciding vote, breaking the council’s 4-4 tie, and officially rescinding the ambulance purchase.

Fifth Ward Alderman Jim Brookman, a retired Des Plaines firefighter who pushed for the vertical exhaust ambulance purchase, said he doesn’t recall a Des Plaines mayor ever pushing for a resolution to rescind a previous council vote. “I think the motion to rescind was improper and illegal,” said Brookman, who promised to ask the Office of the Illinois Attorney General for an opinion on the matter.

“It’s my belief this is a solution in search for a problem,” Bogusz said. “It’s not a policy decision. It’s an operational decision. I believe this body needs to work to stick a little bit closer to policy.”

Though the council approved the purchase March 3, fire department officials didn’t make the purchase.

The fire chief said he believes there isn’t a problem with the current horizontal exhaust ambulance fleet, since new vehicle emission standards disperse fumes quicker than before. Fire department officials surveyed 40 nearby communities — two of which, Evanston and Winnetka, had vertical exhaust ambulances. Wax said ambulance manufacturers interviewed by the Northwest Municipal Conference Suburban Purchasing Cooperative report selling and making few ambulances with vertical exhaust systems.

Brookman said Des Plaines needed to go “above and beyond” to protect firefighters and the public who could be harmed by exposure to diesel fumes from idling vehicles. He cited health studies from the World Health Organization that show diesel fumes contribute to cancer risk. At the March 3 council meeting, Brookman became emotional when talking about Des Plaines firefighters he knew who died of cancer, including his best friend.

It would only cost an extra $1,500 to put a vertical exhaust system on an ambulance, but would cost $75,000 to add a vertical exhaust capture system in fire stations.

On Monday, Brookman and Wax engaged in a heated back-and-forth dialogue about whether there was a problem with the current fleet of ambulances, which give off emissions from tailpipes at the back of vehicles. 

“I was on the ambulance for 15 years of my 30 years on the job,” Brookman said. “There’s no way to be on the ambulance and not breathe diesel fumes that are pumped out of the side of the ambulance. It’s impossible. I don’t understand how you can say there is not a problem.”

Wax said he didn’t have any evidence to suggest fumes were making their way into ambulances.

“It does go in the back because I’ve been on the rig,” Brookman responded, “and I know when you open the doors, the air goes inside, and if there’s diesel fumes all around the rig, it goes in. There’s no way for it not to happen.”

“I don’t know there are diesel fumes all around the rig,” Wax countered.

“If they’re pumped out the side of the rig, where the hell do they go?” Brookman said.

“They dissipate into the air. They go whatever direction the wind is going,” Wax said.

“They come up from the ground and you breathe them if you’re standing in the fumes. I’ve been on thousands of calls and so have you,” Brookman told Wax. “I don’t get it. They’re breathing diesel fumes. The public is breathing them and so are the firefighters. How in the world can you say they’re not breathing diesel fumes?”

Following the council’s rejection of the vertical exhaust ambulance, Bogusz asked aldermen to approve the $226,229 purchase of a horizontal exhaust ambulance. But 3rd Ward Alderman Denise Rodd’s motion to do so wasn’t seconded.

Wax said he will ask the council to approve an ambulance purchase at a time still to be determined. The department currently has five ambulances in service, and has been buying new ones as part of an annual replacement schedule.

thanks Dan

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Des Plaines to buy ambulance

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.


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