Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl announced on Sept. 15 that Northwestern University will donate $550,000 to the City for the purchase of a new fire engine pumper. In 2008, the Evanston Fire Department responded to 607 calls for service on the campus of Northwestern. Approximately 48 percent of the calls were for emergency medical services.

“We are pleased to fund the purchase of this new fire engine, which was the top priority of the City in our discussions with how we might assist the City financially,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro.

“We are very grateful to Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro for this thoughtful and practical donation that will help save lives and protect property,” said Mayor Tisdahl. “We are eagerly looking forward to a long, continued relationship with the University in our partnership to make Evanston an even greater community than what it is already.”

Evanston has five front-line fire engines – vehicles equipped with hoses, water and a fire pump to provide the high pressure necessary for the firefighters to extinguish a blaze. The typical life-span of an engine is approximately 10-12 years.

The new fire engine will replace a 15-year-old front-line engine. It will have a 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump and carry 500 gallons of water. It will carry three firefighters, at least two of whom will be paramedics and will have all the fire equipment and advanced life support supplies needed for first-responders. These include a heart monitor/defibrillator, advance airway management tools and medications for the treatment of such things as heart attacks, asthma attacks and bee stings.

“The new engine comes at a critical time, when several pieces of our fire fleet are in need of replacement, during these difficult economic times,” said Fire and Life Safety Services Chief Alan Berkowsky. “This new engine is a welcome addition to our fleet and will serve the citizens of Evanston as well as the students, faculty and visitors of the University for years to come.”

“The City and the University have been partners in many areas to benefit both Evanston residents and the Northwestern community, including mutual support by City and University police and extension of the University’s fiber-optic communications system to City facilities,” President Schapiro said. “We look forward to extending this cooperation through the purchase of this fire engine.”