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Canada's first electric fire engine unveiled in Vancouver

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Canada's first electric-powered fire engine is now operating out of Vancouver's Strathcona neighbourhood, promising a range of improvements over traditional trucks – including less noise and better maneuverability.

The introduction of the Rosenbauer RTX Pumper Truck supports Vancouver's 2020 pledge to reduce fleet emissions by transitioning to electric vehicles when fuel-powered ones need replacing.

The electric fire engine, which has been put to use at Fire Hall No. 1 on Heatley Avenue, is narrower and shorter than standard fire trucks, allowing for easier navigation when crews are responding to emergencies, officials said in a news release Monday.

"The new electric fire engine demonstrates innovation, safety, health and responsive service delivery can all be prioritized," said Chief Karen Fry of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, in the release. "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 reduced noise will allow for improved communication between firefighters, lower stress and also cause less of a disruption to neighbours, according to the city.

Working next to an electric vehicle instead of a diesel-powered truck will also reduce firefighters' exposure to carcinogens.

Vancouver has pledged to reduce overall emissions on city vehicles to 60 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030. So far, 10 per cent of fleet vehicles are electric.

 

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