Grand Rapids Fire Department Goes Green

Grand Rapids Fire Department (MI) will install ‘green’ technology on four of its trucks in an effort to reduce fuel use and carbon emissions. The department will equip some fire trucks with hydrogen-injection technology and a lithium iron phosphate “smart battery.”

If the trial proves successful, Grand Rapids will look to deploy the technology on other fire apparatus and perhaps on other vehicles in the city’s fleet.

The fire department on six trucks will install engine telemetry to measure engine performance. Two vehicles will get a “Smart battery” to reduce fuel use during idle time. Two other trucks will get hydrogen injection technology for cleaner-burning fuel combustion that the officers said would improve emissions and extend the life of the trucks 5 to 20 percent through less engine wear-and-tear. The other two vehicles will provide baseline data for the experiment.

Grand Rapids fire trucks last year had more than 10,000 hours of idle time during emergency response, according to a memo used to win support for funding from the city’s Transformation Fund. The memo states that the average age of the fire department’s vehicle fleet is 11.5 years, and none of them currently comply with federal emissions standards.

The department estimates a 4.4-year return on the investment with projected 5-year savings of $82,853 mostly through reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

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