NU Donates $800K for New City Fire Engine

by | Jan 12, 2022

City of Evanston News List

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Post Date:12/20/2021 2:00 PM

The City of Evanston and the Evanston Fire Department are thrilled to announce that Northwestern University has provided an $800,000 donation to the City to fund the purchase of a new fire engine.

The University’s donation will cover the entire cost of a brand new 2022 Pierce Enforcer Pumper Truck, including 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,” said Mayor Daniel Biss. “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. 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.”

“Northwestern is grateful for opportunities to work alongside the City of Evanston to serve the welfare of all its people,” 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.”

Fire engines are critical to the Evanston Fire Department’s emergency response, transporting firefighters and paramedics, emergency equipment, and water to active fires and other emergency calls. 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.”

First Ward Councilmember Clare Kelly played a central role in engaging Northwestern for this contribution along with retired Evanston firefighters and lifelong residents Dave Ellis and Jack Mortell, who provided support by studying and comparing similar universities’ contributions paid to their host cities for services.

“This contribution will help all residents in Evanston and help the Evanston Fire Department to continue to provide the excellent services that we count on,” Kelly said. “This is a great step toward building on a true collaborative relationship between Northwestern and the City, and will directly support one of the City’s primary goals of maintaining the best life/safety services in the state.”

The Evanston City Council approved the purchase of the new vehicle on December 13. The engine is expected to be delivered in late 2022. Fire engines typically have a lifespan of approximately 15 years.

“Thank you to President Morton Schapiro, Neighborhood and Community Relations Director Dave Davis, Fire Chief Paul Polep, and the many City and University staff who made this substantial investment possible,” said Interim City Manager Kelley A. Gandurski. “The City and Northwestern share an important relationship, and I look forward to working together on future projects that benefit the entire Evanston community.”

For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311 or simply dial 311 in Evansto

Clare Kelly