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Portland Fire and Rescue unveils first electric fire engine

The truck is the city's first all electric fire engine and only the second "Pierce Volterra" on service in the country.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Fire and Rescue is used to hooking up fire hydrants, and now some crews are learning to plug in. On Monday, they unveiled their first electric powered fire engine. The engine is the only one of its kind designed to protect firefighters.

The unveiling was treated just like any other new fire truck, as Portland Firefighters held what’s called a “Push In Ceremony,” that’s what they do when they release a new truck into its fleet. What makes this new engine different, is it’s the second released powered engine by Pierce Manufacturing, the company that built the city’s first electric fire engine.

It’s just as strong and capable as the diesel fire engines, it still seats six firefighters and can hold 500 gallons of water, but this one can hold a ten hour charge.

“Portland Fire and Rescue will be able to attain vital performance data for the advancement of future fire fighter apparatus while still being able to respond to the needs of our citizens with the most technology advanced fire engine,” said Portland Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Bill Goforth.

Aside from technology, it’s also going to help save firefighters who are constantly exposed to toxic chemicals.

“Having the opportunity to have zero emissions to have firefighters is going to be monumental for our firefighters," said Rick Graves, a spokesperson with Portland Fire and Rescue.

Just as firefighters don’t always have time to prepare for the next call, neither did the newest fire engine, who received its first call on its first day in service.

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