Detroit Receives Millions for Ambulances and Police Cruisers

A new fleet of ambulances and 100 new police cruisers soon will be on Detroit’s streets thanks to an $8-million donation from private businesses, reports The Detroit Free Press.

With 23 new ambulances, the city will replace its entire fleet, which is plagued by vehicles that break down frequently and have more than 250,000 miles on them, officials said.

The new vehicles will be outfitted with top-of-the-line equipment and should be ready for use in the next two to four months, said Roger Penske, founder and chairman of Penske Corp., the Bloomfield Hills-based transportation services firm.

Along with Penske, other companies that contributed include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Chrysler; Ford; General Motors; Quicken Loans; the Kresge Foundation, and Platinum Equity.

The city will not own the new cars and ambulances, nor will it be responsible for their maintenance. They will be a gift from the corporate community, possibly from the Downtown Detroit Partnership, a nonprofit corporation that helped arrange the donation, said Dave Blaszkiewicz, the partnership’s president and CEO.

Detroit EMS Chief Jerald James said the new ambulances will be appreciated, as the city’s aging fleet requires frequent maintenance.

He said the city has 19 ambulances, pushing five or six years old, on the road. Typically, an ambulance would be in service for two or three years before being swapped out, James said.

“These vehicles have exceeded their service life,” he said.

Read more of the story here http://on.freep.com/16VaPH4

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