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Vancouver welcomes Canada’s first electric fire engine from Rosenbauer America

December 6, 2023

Electric innovation in emergency response

Vancouver has marked a significant step in its commitment to sustainability and technological innovation with the introduction of Canada’s first electric fire engine.

On December 4, 2023, Vancouver Fire Rescue Services unveiled the Rosenbauer RTX Pumper Truck, now operational at Firehall No. 1 in Strathcona.

This move aligns with the city’s ambitious goal to transition to electric vehicles and reduce fleet emissions.

A milestone for Vancouver’s firefighting capabilities

“This state-of-the-art electric fire engine represents an important milestone in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions from our fleet,” Mayor Sim stated.

“We are extremely proud to be the first in Canada to deploy an electric fire engine and lead the way with this exciting addition to Vancouver’s firefighting fleet.”

Todd McBride, Rosenbauer’s RTX Sales and Marketing Manager, noted: “In 2012, as Rosenbauer embarked on developing the RTX, cities like Vancouver took center stage in our thoughts.

“The vehicle was designed to address urban challenges in rapidly growing cities. Vancouver is a prime example of where the versatile features of the RTX can truly shine.”

Enhanced safety and health benefits

Fire Chief and General Manager of Vancouver Fire Rescue Services, Karen Fry, highlighted the multiple advantages of the new electric fire engine.

“The new electric fire engine demonstrates innovation, safety, health and responsive service delivery can all be prioritized,” said Fry.

She pointed out that the engine is not only a sophisticated piece of equipment for protecting people and property but also significantly improves the health and safety of firefighters.

Features of the Rosenbauer RTX Pumper Truck

The Austrian-built Rosenbauer RTX Pumper Truck offers several improvements over traditional fire engines.

It boasts enhanced agility due to its narrower and shorter design, facilitating better maneuverability and responsiveness in emergencies.

The electric engine significantly reduces operational noise, aiding communication among crews and reducing stress for both firefighters and nearby residents.

Its versatility as a rehab area or command center and an adjustable suspension for easier access are additional benefits.

Most notably, the electric engine greatly reduces firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens and pollutants from diesel exhaust.

Electrifying Vancouver’s fleet

This deployment is a step forward in Vancouver’s climate targets, which include reducing carbon pollution and becoming more resilient to fluctuating oil and gas prices.

The city aims to reduce fleet emissions by 60% below 2007 levels by 2030.

With 10% of the City’s fleet vehicles already electric, this percentage is expected to increase as older diesel and gas-powered vehicles are replaced.

FSJA Comment

The introduction of Canada’s first electric fire engine by Vancouver marks a groundbreaking development in the realm of emergency response vehicles.

This initiative not only represents a technological leap but also a significant stride towards sustainability and environmental responsibility.

By prioritizing the health and safety of firefighters through reduced exposure to harmful pollutants, Vancouver is setting a new standard in the firefighting community.

Furthermore, the enhanced capabilities of the Rosenbauer RTX Pumper Truck, such as improved maneuverability and noise reduction, indicate a future where emergency response is not only more efficient but also more considerate of community and environmental well-being.

This milestone in Vancouver’s fleet electrification strategy could inspire other cities to follow suit, potentially leading to a wider adoption of electric emergency vehicles across the globe.

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