26 September 2023

Electric fire trucks Australian firsts

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The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) welcoming its first plug-in hybrid electric heavy firefighter vehicle for the ACT Fire & Rescue (ACTF&R) fleet.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman said the vehicle’s arrival was a milestone not only for ESA, but the ACT Government broadly.

“The world around us is rapidly changing, both in terms of technology, workplace diversity and the environment,” Mr Gentleman said.

“To lead by example and take a step forward in creating a sustainable future is a step that I hope others around the nation will also be empowered to take,” he said.

“With advanced safety features and tailor-made architectural design, this vehicle is one that will revolutionise the operation of the ESA fleet.”

Mr Gentleman said the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle was a fully electric drive with a diesel ranger extended.

He said the extender provided diesel capacity as a back-up only in the event of increased operational demand to ensure ACTF&R’s response was not affected.

ESA Commissioner, Georgeina Whelan described the vehicle as the most modern firefighting vehicle in the world, saying the design incorporates many state of the art features.

“This vehicle has been designed to deliver a range of environmental, workplace health and safety, and operational benefits for both ACTF&R staff and the ACT community,” Commissioner Whelan said.

“The design of vehicle interiors is driven by firefighter safety in mind and driven by our ambition to embrace diversity by catering for a wider range of employees through ergonomic design and the clever application of technology,” she said.

“With street level entry to reduce injuries caused by climbing in and out of the truck, total absence of carcinogenic exhaust gases around the area of the vehicle resulting in clean air, and night-vision electronic rear view mirrors to increase visibility and therefore safety – these are all features that will prevent injury to firefighters and increase the longevity of their careers.”

Commissioner Whelan said the plug-in hybrid electric heavy vehicle would undergo familiarisation and intensive training with ACTF&R firefighters to ensure a safe transition to servicing the Canberra community.

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