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New Ambulances For Detroit

Roger Penske Gets Involved – Things Happen

TODAY (Monday) IS THE FIRST DAY on the job for Kevyn Orr, Detroit's new State Emergency Financial Manager.  Coincidentally, Mayor Bing held a previously-scheduled news conference jointly with Roger Penske at 9:30 am where they announced a new plan that will be bringing 23 new ambulances and about 100 new police patrol cars to the city.

Crain's Detroit Business Daily reports today:

Eight corporations will spend $8 million to lease the vehicles. Penske Corp. Chairman Roger Penske said today that the police cruisers should arrive within the next 90 days, and the EMS rigs are expected to arrive within the next 150 days.

The corporations involved are Penske, Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC, Quicken Loans Inc., General Motors Co., Platinum Equity LLC, the FirstMerit Bank, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Penske said Bing spearheaded the effort that began about six weeks ago.

"We believe these additional vehicles will enhance the visibility of police and fire efforts in the city of Detroit, improve safety and security in our neighborhoods, and have an immediate, lasting impact," Penske said at today's news conference at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building.

The vehicles to be leased are the Dodge Charger Pursuit; the Ford Taurus Interceptor; the Chevrolet Caprice PPV; and the Horton Terrastar ambulance.

The entire current fleet of junkers will be taken out of
service after the new units arrive in 3-4 months.  (WDIV-TV photo)

Reuters reports further:

"This is an unprecedented collaboration between the business community and the mayor's office," said Bing at a press conference with business leaders and public safety officials.

The effort to fund the ambulances and police cruisers was led by Roger Penske, chief executive of Penske Automotive Group Inc, who appeared with Bing at a press conference. The companies donated money to a tax-exempt nonprofit that will in turn lease the vehicles to the city, and well as pay for their upkeep.

Bing said the city's current fleet of 23 ambulances is aging and prone to mechanical failures. Some have 250,000 to 300,000 miles on them and of the 23, four or five are out of service on any given day. City officials have said that over the past three months as few as 10 to 14 ambulances are available at times for the city of 700,000 people and 143 square miles.

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