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Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service able to reduce emissions while responding to emergencies

Department using zero-emissions equipment whenever possible

April 22, 2021

Fire truck
Current WFPS apparatus burn diesel while idling, but new battery technology will maintain the electric loads without running the engines to help reduce emissions.

In addition to responding to emergencies, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is working to reduce its emissions and environmental footprint.

Battery Idle Reduction Technology (IRT) is one of the features that is now included on the department’s new apparatus.

The new technology will sense when the engine is idle for three minutes and switches to battery power. It will then sense when the apparatus requires heating or cooling and automatically turns the engine back on when required.

Brad Enders, Director of WFPS’ Emergency Mechanical Services Branch, goes over features of the new engines with crews

So far, five new fire engines with the IRT feature will be deployed in April. In total, another seven vehicles are expected to enter service by the end of 2021.

“It’s important for WFPS to be a leader and demonstrate our commitment to a greener community by reducing our emissions.”  said Brad Enders, Director of WFPS’s Emergency Mechanical Services Branch.

In addition to reducing the department’s carbon footprint, Enders anticipates costs will be reduced with lower fuel expenses. He also expects decreased maintenance expenses with longer periods between regular preventative maintenance services.

The technology improves safety for first responders, with quieter scenes and reduced diesel fumes.

On top of the cleaner trucks, Enders explained the department is reducing emissions by purchasing other battery-powered equipment such as industrial fans. New positive pressure ventilation fans, used to move smoke from structures, also run on battery rather than combustion engines. If the batteries deplete, the fan has the option to be plugged in to a 110v power supply.

As existing tools such as chain saws, cut-off saws, and station maintenance equipment reaches its end of life, they will also be replace with battery-powered models.

“Not only does this reduce the emissions released from the actual equipment use but it also reduces the fuel and emissions consumed during the pickup and delivery of the fuel,” said Enders. “Every little bit helps.”

The new technology is one way we are continuing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as part of the City’s Climate Action Plan


Originally posted on September 21, 2020


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