Canada’s First Electric Fire Engine Introduced in Vancouver

The electric Rosenbauer RTX fire engine aligns with the city’s climate targets of reducing carbon pollution
Staff Reporter | Canada | Community Management

Canada’s first electric-powered fire engine is operating out of Vancouver’s historic Strathcona neighbourhood, claiming several benefits over traditional trucks, including quieter operation and improved manoeuvrability, enhancing responsiveness during emergencies. The deployment of the electric Rosenbauer RTX fire engine aligns with the city’s climate targets of reducing carbon pollution by transitioning to electric vehicles when replacing fleet vehicles. It will also help the city become more resilient to fluctuating oil and gas prices.

Reduction of Carbon Emissions

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

The Austrian-built Rosenbauer RTX Pumper truck, reportedly, offers several improvements over traditional fire engines, including:

  • Agility: Its narrower and shorter design enables manoeuvrability, enhancing responsiveness during emergencies.
  • Noise reduction: The electric engine minimises operational noise, making it easier for crews to work, improving communication, lowering stress and benefiting nearby residents.
  • Versatility: The open cab design allows the fire engine to serve as a rehab area or command centre.
  • Accessibility: Adjustable suspension facilitates easier entry and exit, offering lower cab heights and better access to heavy equipment.
  • Health benefits: The electric engine significantly reduces firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens and pollutants from diesel exhaust.

“The new electric fire engine demonstrates innovation, safety, health and responsive service delivery can all be prioritised,” said Karen Fry, fire chief and general manager of Vancouver Fire Rescue Services. “This is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment that will enhance our capability to protect people and property, and substantially improve the health and safety of firefighters.”

The city of Vancouver has committed to reduce fleet emissions by 60% below 2007 levels by 2030. Currently, 10% of the city’s fleet vehicles are electric and the percentage will continue to increase as ageing diesel and gas-powered vehicles are replaced.

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