Ads on Ambulances and Fire Trucks: What Do You Think?

You may soon see advertising on area ambulances and fire trucks, in an effort to make up for budget shortfalls.

A sample of advertising on a fire truck. Credit: Palatine Rural Fire Protection District
A sample of advertising on a fire truck. Credit: Palatine Rural Fire Protection District
Voters recently rejected a property tax hike proposed by the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District in the northwest suburbs- and that has caused district leaders to turn to unconventional fundraising methods. 

The fire protection district plans to sell advertising space on emergency vehicles, including fire trucks and ambulances. The ads are expected to bring in between $20,000 to $25,000 per year, according to Fire Protection District Chief Hank Clemmensen. 

Clemmensen said over the last few years, property tax values have declined, and along with them revenue for the district to afford every day costs. Money that comes into the district is directly related to the equalized assessed valuation of properties within the district boundaries. 

"We've seen a 9-percent decline, which represents about $300,000, and that's tough when all of our other expenses continue to rise," Clemmensen said.

He added that the labor contracts for fire protection district employees will 
remain  in place for the next three years, and equipment still has to be replaced so the business of saving lives and structures can continue. 

"We've cut down to the bone, so we decided to look for creative solutions," Clemmensen said.  

The fire protection district is working with an Arizona-based company that specializing in public safety advertising. 

The Palatine Rural Fire Protection District serves the eastern two thirds of Inverness, in addition to all unincorporated area of Palatine Township. 

What do you think? Is this an acceptable way to raise funds, or is it too out of the ordinary? Let us know what you think in our comment section below!
Ed60062 March 25, 2014 at 09:57 AM
I say absolutely not. It presupposes that people will read the ads which creates another diversion for drivers. Someone will be reading an ad and not see the next emergency vehicle, another vehicle, a pedestrian, etc. If on fire equipment, police equipment will be next. Then what happens when an ad sponsor commits a crime--will a cop be reluctant to arrest the person funding the department?
sklogw March 25, 2014 at 03:50 PM
How are people supposed to see the ads? Don't trucks usually have to drive fast to get to emergency? I say go for it if the advertisers don't mind wasting money on ads that will probably not be seen. LOL


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