The City of Boulder is excited to announce that Boulder Fire-Rescue has purchased a Rosenbauer RTX fire engine, the first electric vehicle of its kind in Colorado.
The new fire engine will have many state-of-the-art features that better support firefighters, our community, and the environment. The RTX is considered a Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV), meaning it has an all-electric drivetrain and pump with a diesel energy backup system. This new technology will allow the city to fight fires while safeguarding air quality and reducing climate-warming emissions.
The purchase also represents a broader movement to go electric that goes beyond personal vehicles to include larger, more powerful machines, including emergency vehicles that must be reliable and able to perform under challenging conditions.
“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 collaboration among departments – Fire-Rescue, Fleet & Facilities, and Climate Initiatives – has been exceptional and is an example of how we can address today’s challenges when we work together.”
The electric engine not only helps advance Boulder’s mission to address climate change, but also presents an opportunity to better serve the needs of an increasingly diverse firefighting workforce. The RTX engine was created with the primary goal of improving occupational safety for all firefighters. Improvements 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.
“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. “We’ve ensured that the equipment will be dependable and capable while also developing a better understanding about all the safety benefits the engine offers. 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, though the actual timeline may vary slightly, and will be determined as the build-out progresses. 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. 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. Nearly all of Boulder Fire-Rescue’s budget is from the General Fund, made possible through sales and use tax collections.
“I care deeply about the safety and well-being of our firefighters, and I’m excited about the next steps we are taking to better support them, while also helping achieve several city goals,” said Boulder Fire-Rescue Chief Michael Calderazzo. “This option is a win-win.”
For more information about Rosenbauer’s RTX, visit https://rosenbaueramerica.com/rosenbauer-revolutionary-technology/