Cork City Fire Brigade has taken delivery of what is believed to be the first electric vehicle to go into active service in Ireland’s emergency services fleet.
In a historic first for the fire service, it is hoped that the Renault Kangoo ZE van will hit the road this weekend as the brigade’s dedicated cardiac emergency response vehicle.
It can take up to five passengers — two in the front and three in a passenger bench behind — but it will normally carry three firefighters who are members of the brigade’s cardiac emergency response team.
Senior fire officers said they are delighted with the performance of the van after several days of road-testing.
Third officer Edward Buckley described it as a fantastic vehicle for their needs.
“We were surprised at its performance really,” he said. “It is surprisingly fast and we can get up to 160km on a single charge of the battery.”
The van has been adapted internally and fitted with a range of radio and medical equipment.
A dedicated rapid charging point is being installed at brigade headquarters at Anglesea St, where the vehicle will be based, which will allow the vehicle’s battery to be fully recharged in less than 30 minutes.
Renault says the van, the first in its range of electric vehicles, can be fully charged for around €4, depending on the tariffs you use.
It produces CO2 emissions lower than 120g/km, it includes at least 7% recycled plastic, and has been designed in such a way that 95% of the materials used could have a second life.
The city’s fire service was able to launch a dedicated cardiac response unit thanks to the success of their community fire safety roadshow, which has been running for four years.
That initiative helped cut the number of call-outs, freeing firefighters to respond to cardiac arrests.
It is the first brigade outside Dublin to engage in this type of emergency response.
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