On Monday night Rockford aldermen approved two items for the city's first responders.
The Rockford Fire Department was given the green light to purchase four new ambulances. Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten says Rockford ambulances typically travel 80 to 90 miles a day.
"It's extremely important to provide the best level of service to citizens," says Bergsten. "To have working air conditioning, especially to have the reliability of the equipment is very important for us because everything we do in EMS transports, we need to have reliable equipment to respond to calls and transport that individual to the hospital."
Bergsten says these new ambulances will replace the old vehicles that frequently break down due to wear and tear. The four ambulances cost $1,096,736 and will be paid for through the Fire Department Capital Budget.
The Rockford Police Department is also getting some upgrades. There's security upgrades coming to the three substations. Police Chief Dan O'Shea explained one of those upgrades allows a 911 dispatcher to open the door of a substation for someone in a crisis. Another tightens key card access to sensitive areas within the department.
Aldermen approved the just over $69,000 in bond proceeds to make those improvements.