In a move towards sustainable firefighting solutions, the Vienna Professional Fire Department has introduced two electrically powered basic firefighting vehicles (BLF) to its fleet. Manufactured by Rosenbauer, these innovative vehicles are equipped with a high-voltage battery boasting a capacity of 66 kWh, while two electric motors deliver a peak electrical drive power of 360 kW.
To ensure operational flexibility during longer missions or in the event of a prolonged power failure, the vehicles are equipped with a 225 kW diesel range extender known as the Energy Backup System (EBU), a technology developed by Rosenbauer. Additionally, the electric motors are sourced from Volvo Penta, a testament to the collaborative efforts of industry leaders in developing cutting-edge firefighting solutions.
The core of these advanced firefighting vehicles is based on the Rosenbauer RT (Revolutionary Technology) model, a platform that has already seen 21 units delivered globally. With the recent deployment in Berlin and Basel, the introduction of the Rosenbauer RT to Vienna completes its presence in the entire DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Specifically, the Vienna units are built upon the Rosenbauer RT 4×4 Basic Chassis, measuring 7.80 meters in length, 2.35 meters in width, 3.20 meters in height, and weighing 16 tonnes.
Traditionally employing assistance or tank firefighting vehicles, the Vienna Professional Fire Department has embraced the BLF due to its unique ability to combine the features of both rescue and tank firefighting vehicles. This versatility has earned it the designation of a basic firefighting vehicle. With a capacity of 2,000 liters of water and 100 liters of foam concentrate, the BLF also features a roof-mounted water cannon. The built-in pump is powered by the electric engine, or the Energy Backup System (EBU).
Commenting on this significant step towards environmental sustainability, Fire Department City Councillor Peter Hanke praised the Vienna Professional Fire Brigade for its commitment to professionalism and safety. He emphasized the importance of constantly evolving and embracing new technologies in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the Viennese population. Hanke also highlighted the role of the Vienna Professional Fire Department in contributing to Vienna's climate neutrality goals through the gradual adoption of eco-friendly vehicles.
Notably, the introduction of the two Rosenbauer RTs marks a continuation of Vienna's history with electric fire engines. Over a century ago, the Vienna Fire Brigade Museum acquired and currently maintains a historic electric vehicle, which is still operational. This historical artifact was showcased alongside several modern electric vehicles from the Vienna Professional Fire Department's current fleet, underscoring the department's commitment to embracing sustainable technologies.
With the addition of these electric firefighting vehicles, the Vienna Professional Fire Department stands at the forefront of global emergency services, combining professionalism and innovation to serve its community while reducing its carbon footprint. As Vienna sets an example for other cities worldwide, the integration of environmentally friendly vehicles within the firefighting sector marks a crucial step towards building a greener and safer future.