Blue light service goes green in drive to become carbon neutral

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Chief Fire Officer Kath Billing and Councillor Martyn Alvey stood in front of new electric fire car

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service will introduce electric and low carbon fuel vehicles into its fleet to help reduce its carbon footprint whilst continuing to provide vital services to Cornwall’s residents.

The first four new electric vehicles have been introduced into service and allocated to fire safety protection officers.

The service, like the rest of Cornwall Council, is committed to being carbon neutral by 2030.

Chief Fire Officer Kathryn Billing said: “Leading the way and contributing to meeting our carbon targets is essential. We have one of the largest fleets of vehicles in Cornwall Council and the service is committed to meeting our carbon reduction targets.

“We have looked at how we use our vehicles to understand more about the emissions being released into the environment, this enables us to prioritise which vehicles can be replaced.

“As a result, a number of our light vehicles in our support fleet will be replaced with comparable electric powered alternatives.”

Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for environment and climate change said: “These new electric vehicles are being introduced as part of Cornwall Council’s response to the climate emergency and our commitment to become a carbon-neutral council by 2030.

“Cornwall’s Fire and Rescue Service is leading the way by beginning the transition to electric vehicles working with the Council's Carbon Neutral Cornwall programme. These cars mark the beginning of our transition to a zero-emission fleet and will help Cornwall realise our ambition to become the UK’s first net-zero region.”

First to be replaced are ageing diesel vans, which will be replaced by electric cars that have a 200-mile range, zero emissions and are low maintenance.

The service has also installed charging infrastructure at its headquarters in Tolvaddon and at Bodmin Community Fire Station to support the shift to electric vehicles.

Kathryn added: “We have made a positive start to becoming carbon neutral but there is more to be done.

“We are currently at an exciting stage where a further six light vehicles have been identified as suitable for our needs. Work is also underway to identify a medium sized electric van that will be used by the services maintenance team.

“To support the shift to electric vehicles, more vehicle charging points are being proposed at ten of our community fires stations spanning the length and breadth of our Duchy.”

Story posted August 9, 2021

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