The village probably won’t take possession of it until 2025, but Brookfield trustees on July 24 voted unanimously to lock in some aspects of the cost of a buying a new Ford F550 Life Line Superliner ambulance through the Houston-Galveston Area Council Consortium, a purchasing cooperative the village has been using in recent years to obtain big-ticket capital items.

According to Fire Chief James Adams, it may take up to 24 months from the date the ambulance is ordered to receive it, so the expenditure likely won’t need to be budgeted until the 2025 fiscal year.

That will give the village more time to determine exactly how to fund the purchase, since the new ambulance will cost the village in the vicinity of $356,000 – about 30% more than the $275,000 Adams originally had estimated.

When Brookfield last purchased an ambulance – also a Ford 550 Life Line Superliner through the Houston-Galveston Area Council Consortium – in 2017 it cost the village $250,000. It also only took between four to six months to take delivery. The village took out a bank loan to make that purchase.

The formal purchase order will need village board action in the coming months, said Adams, and it’s still unknown exactly what the vehicle will end up costing, since the manufacturer has not yet provided the cost of a 2024 chassis. 

By acting now, however, Brookfield can lock in the cost of other components needed to outfit the ambulance. Adams said that component costs are expected to rise by $1,500 to $2,000 per month.

In a memo to the village board, Adams noted the village owns three ambulances, the 2017 Ford 550 and a 2013 Ford F450, which serve as front-line vehicles, and a 2006 Ford that serves as the department’s reserve and is used when one of the front-line ambulances is out of service for repairs.

The average life span for an ambulance is seven to eight years, according to Adams. It’s unclear what will become of the 2006 ambulance when the new one arrives. It could be repurposed for another municipal use – Brookfield has one old ambulance that is used by the Public Works Department – or sold as surplus property.