Boulder invests in safety and sustainability with electric fire engine


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The City of Boulder has announced the purchase of a Rosenbauer RTX fire engine, the first electric vehicle of its kind in Colorado. The electric fire engine was purchased by Boulder Fire-Rescue and is considered a Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV), meaning it has an all-electric drivetrain and pump with a diesel energy backup system. This technology allows the city to fight fires while safeguarding air quality and reducing climate-warming emissions.

In addition to the environmental benefits, the purchase of the electric fire engine represents a significant step towards improving occupational safety for all firefighters. The RTX engine boasts several improvements to better support the needs of an increasingly diverse firefighting workforce. These features include an adjustable suspension that offers lower equipment and cab access heights, all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering for increased maneuverability on the road, an ergonomically designed cab space, reduced exposure to carcinogenic fumes, and a significant reduction in operational noise.

“This is a tremendous step forward for our community and yet another example of Boulder’s leadership in addressing climate change,” said City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde. “We’re proud to be an early adopter of new technology that makes emergency response both safer and environmentally friendly.”

The purchase of the electric fire engine was made possible through the collaboration of departments including Fire-Rescue, Fleet & Facilities, and Climate Initiatives. The estimated cost of this engine is currently at approximately 1.78 million. The money has been saved up over time from the department’s budget to replace the fleet as necessary.

“Boulder Fire-Rescue has been very intentional and thorough in the process of researching and developing a plan for this engine,” said Travis Richen, administrative battalion chief. “This purchase gives us an amazing chance to shape the next generation of fire apparatus.”

Boulder anticipates delivery of this engine late 2024 to early 2025. During this time, Boulder Fire-Rescue firefighters and Rosenbauer will work together closely to ensure that the new engine meets the needs of Boulder firefighters and the community they serve.

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