Redmond, WA – On Feb. 7, 2023, Redmond City Council authorized the acceptance of a grant toward the purchase of the City’s first electric fire engine. The Fire Department applied for and received a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology, which covers 25% of the costs of the electric engine program. Redmond will be the first agency in the state to receive the grant, and the engine will be the first electric fire engine in Washington, as well as one of the first few in the country.
The Pierce Volterra electric fire engine is the first to enter service and has proven effective in its years of use. The project’s total costs, including charging infrastructure, are $2.3 million, of which the grant will pay for nearly $600,000. It is estimated to take about 25 months to receive the new unit now that it has been ordered, as each Volterra engine is built to order.
Madison, Wisconsin, currently has an electric unit in service, and new electric units will enter service this year in Portland, Oregon, and Gilbert, Arizona. In preparation for this project, Redmond Fire Department personnel visited Madison, Wisconsin, where a Volterra engine has been in service since 2021. They met with Madison’s fire personnel to discuss their experience with the electric engine and its benefits.
“We’ve learned the benefits of these new electric engines reducing fuel costs, and with its backup diesel engine, it will be even more reliable than a traditional diesel engine,” said Redmond Mayor Angela Birney. "Quieter operations also help our first responders communicate at the scene of an incident and keep our Redmond community safe."
Redmond’s Environmental Sustainability Action Plan targets 2030 for city operations to achieve carbon neutrality. The electric fire engine will contribute towards this goal, and its location at Fire Station 12 will also reduce diesel emissions in the vicinity of the station.
Redmond’s grant is from the Washington State Clean Diesel Program and Volkswagen Settlement Grant Program, in cooperation with the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The DERA program funds state and local governments to replace or modernize old diesel vehicles with alternative technologies.
Jill E. Smith, Communications Manager