The new Engine 24 will be similar to Engine 22, shown here, the city's last previous fire engine purchase. (EFD photo)

The City of Evanston announced today that Northwestern University has donated $800,000 to the city to fund the purchase of a new fire engine.

The City Council approved the purchase of the 2022 Pierce Enforcer Pumper Truck last Monday.

It will replace the existing Engine 24, a 2003 Pierce model purchased new for $425,000.

The university’s donation will cover the base cost of the fire engine and the emergency equipment used to outfit the vehicle, including hoses, tools, a cardiac monitor, self-contained breathing apparatuses and radios.

This is the second time Northwestern University has donated the funds to purchase a new City of Evanston fire engine under the leadership of President Morton Schapiro. In 2009, the University donated $550,000 to the City for the purchase of a new pumper engine, which is still in service.

“Thank you to President Morton Schapiro and Northwestern University for making this substantial investment in the health and safety of the Evanston community,” Mayor Daniel Biss said in a statement. “This generous donation reflects the City and Northwestern’s shared interest in making sure Evanston is a safe place to live and learn.”

“I’m especially grateful for President Schapiro’s recognition throughout his tenure that Evanston and Northwestern need one another to thrive,” Biss added. I look forward to continuing to work with Northwestern to identify opportunities to support and invest in our community for the betterment of both institutions.”

President Schapiro said, “Beyond being a symbol of our strong partnership, the new fire truck represents a tangible investment in public safety and well-being.”

The Pierce Enforcer Pumper Truck carries 500 gallons of water, allowing firefighters to immediately begin fire suppression efforts prior to connecting to the nearest hydrant, helping save lives and property.

“The Evanston Fire Department is incredibly grateful to Northwestern University for their support as we work to provide exceptional, round-the-clock fire and life safety services for all who live, work and study in Evanston,” said Fire Chief Paul Polep. “This donation couldn’t have come at a better time and helps address a critical need for our department. Not only will this new engine greatly enhance our ability to quickly and effectively respond to emergencies on campus and throughout the city, it will also support future investments in our emergency vehicle fleet.”

The engine is expected to be delivered in late 2022. Fire engines, city officials say, typically have a lifespan of about 15 years.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.