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St. Paul becomes Minnesota’s first city with electric firetruck

Mayor Carter and Fire Chief Butch Inks on March 15 announced that the St. Paul Fire Department is embracing green energy to fight fires, becoming the first fire service in Minnesota to purchase an electric fire truck.  
“We’re excited to be the first in the state to invest in this state-of-the-art fire truck,” said Mayor Carter per a release. “It brings us all the critical green energy benefits of an electric vehicle, while meeting the high safety and efficiency standards we have for all our fire equipment.”  
In 2020 and again in January of 2023, St. Paul Fire received demonstrations of the RTX from Austrian-based designer and manufacturer Rosenbauer. Members of the department’s training division, apparatus selection committee, and vehicle maintenance personnel were impressed with the maneuverability, safety features, and functionality during these demonstrations, according to the release.  
“I was blown away by its overall performance and how quiet the rig is,” said Inks. “Communication on fire scenes is important and can be extremely difficult, especially when six or seven loud diesel engines are operating in high idle.” 
The investment in the RTX is in alignment with the City of St. Paul Climate Action and Resilience Plan, which focuses on achieving carbon neutrality in city operations by 2030 and citywide by 2050. This work includes strategies to lessen the impacts of climate change through policy and regulatory actions the city can take to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the changing climate and improve quality of life in the city. In addition to furthering climate goals, this investment, the mayor’s office contends, helps reduce diesel emissions and supports firefighters’ overall health and wellbeing. 
“We take pride in our ability to identify and capitalize on opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and improve city services at the same time,” said Chief Resilience Officer Russ Stark. “Because emissions from larger vehicles are some of the hardest to tackle, this is a big milestone toward realizing our climate goals.” 
Rosenbauer has started the build process on an RTX electric fire truck for St. Paul, with delivery expected by 2025. Final assembly of the city’s and state’s first electric fire truck will be completed at Rosenbauer’s facility in Wyoming, Minnesota, with delivery expected to coincide with completion of a new Fire Station 7 on the city’s East Side. 
“The Rosenbauer RTX is the fire truck of the future,” said Todd McBride, RTX Sales and Marketing Manager of Rosenbauer America. “With over 10 years of research and development, the RTX is built from the ground up using the most advanced materials and technologies. The RTX is the safest fire truck available – for firefighters, for communities and for the environment.”
The city is submitting federal earmark funding requests to support the purchase of the state’s first electric fire engine.

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