The Evanston Fire Department has placed the newest addition to its fleet into service.

Ambulance 22 is a Ford F-550 all-wheel drive vehicle and is equipped with some of the latest Emergency Medical Services features, including a self-loading stretcher system that will make it easier and more efficient to load patients into the ambulance.

The ambulance will respond to medical emergencies from Fire Station 2, located at 702 Madison St.

In 2015, Evanston Fire moved away from the International body-style ambulance to the Ford F-550 series.

Fire Division Chief Paul Polep says the new model has been designed to give the patients and crew a much better transport experience and that it will also allow the Evanston Fire Department to better navigate roads during difficult winter conditions.

The purchase of the new ambulance, from Foster Coach Sales of Sterling, Illinois, for just under $292,000, was approved by the City Council last spring.

The old ambulance stopped outside the Dobson Plaza nursing home in 2016.

It replaces an ambulance purchased in 2005. The City Council on Monday is scheduled to vote to donate that vehicle to the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force Major Crash Assistance Team, which investigates fatal and severe injury moto vehicle crashes in Evanston and a dozen nearby communities.

Assistant City Manager Erika Storlie, in a memo to aldermen, says the old vehicle β€œis no longer in top performing condition to serve as an active or even reserve ambulance for the city.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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