Fire appliance of the future: AF&RS look at hybrid fire engine

Avon Fire Authority members and Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) staff had the opportunity to view a new type of fire appliance from Rosenbauer in line with the Service’s focus on the road to zero emissions.

Rosenbauer’s fire appliance is one of several hybrids in the current market, with existing units in operation across the world. The fire engine, which has hybrid capabilities, can run off electric charge and biodiesel, making it suitable for use across different terrain.

With the introduction of electric vehicles into the Service in recent years, electric fire appliances are another avenue to explore in the Service’s move towards zero emissions. Whilst no commitments have been made, the demonstration appliance proved to be an interesting offering for all involved.

Brian Harwood, Head of Transport said, “Manufacturers have been working hard to deliver a fire appliance solution that can enable a fire service to operate a zero emission vehicle for a number of years, it’s now great to see these are being adopted by other fire services around the world. The real world testing of early adopters goes a long way to providing reassurance with this equipment and its reliability to perform as a front line fire vehicle in real world situations.”

“A mirrorless cab, four wheel drive and twin steering axles make for interesting innovations which will all add value to the users comfort and the overall vehicle usability in our cities. Such a transition to new technology will require extensive user engagement across all areas of our operation. Only through appropriate evaluation, user input and user development will we be able to confirm a return on the investment of a vehicle such as this.”

Brian added, “It is likely HGV alternative fuel vehicle will develop further, however it is good to know that a clean appliance solution exists now and can help us to achieve our net carbon goal, keep our staff and communities safe and help to keep our air clean. I would hope to see a vehicle such as this as part of our operational fleet soon.”

The AF&RS Enviromental Strategy 2020-2030 covers six key principles: 

  • An efficient and effective state
  • Renewable energy generation
  • Cleaner transport and travel
  • Best practice in environmental protection
  • Sustainable procurement in practice
  • Ambitious environmental management

You can read the full environmental strategy here.