LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles Fire Department has signed an agreement with an Austrian company to become the first firefighting agency in North America to buy an electric fire truck, expected to be operational in about a year, it was announced today.
The vehicle will be customized for the needs of the LAFD while meeting all of the safety standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association, said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.
The LAFD expects to take delivery of the new engine in early 2021 and will likely assign it to Fire Station 82 in Hollywood, he said.
``I am excited that we are the first department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine,'' Terrazas said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
``The electric fire engine is an innovative tool that will help reduce noise and harmful diesel emissions while providing a flexible tool for firefighting and rescue operations from a technologically advanced platform,'' he said. ``We are looking forward to evaluating it in a real-world environment once it hits the streets of Hollywood next year.''
Leonding, Austria-based Rosenbauer International, one of the world's three largest manufacturers of fire-service vehicles and firefighting equipment, brought its Concept Fire Truck to Los Angeles last fall for a demonstration.
The vehicle is fundamentally different from the trucks currently in service at fire stations, said Rosenbauer CEO Dieter Siegel.
``It is multi-functional ... and its flexible interior can be used as a fully featured command center,'' he said. ``Its floor can be lowered, facilitating minimum boarding and working levels.''
The engine is powered by two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours, enabling fully electric operation for roughly two hours. An on- board diesel generator can be activated for extended operations.
The LAFD will equip the fire station that houses the electric fire truck with rapid-charging technology to ensure the apparatus is always ready to respond to calls for service.