Monday, March 23, 2009

Reducing first responders idle time

OPSEU received an invitation from Fleet Challenge to participate in a consultation on issues related to the idling of emergency vehicles - ambulances and police cars in particular. There are at least two key issues related to idling emergency vehicles - greenhouse gas production and worksite air quality. We were asked to send a front-line paramedic to the meeting in order to assure that this perspective was part of the process. 

First responder vehicles idling at an accident scene

OPSEU's paramedics were represented at this meeting by Brad Thomson, health & safety rep from OPSEU's ambulance division. Here is his report from the March 13 meeting.
From my perspective the meeting was very interesting and the changes to fleet vehicles purposed can affect most vehicles used as Ambulances in the province.
The meeting began with introductions and a get to know each other session. The large group was divided into groups of 6-8 people. Most groups had a broad mix of participants, all including a rep from Fleet Challenge. The group that I worked with included a rep from GM engineering, head of Hamilton Police Fleet division, owner of a business in Ancaster that designs "alternate power units" [Simplicity Air] and myself. 
For the day Fleet Challenge had us all respond to a general questionnaire specific to fleet vehicles and their perceived uses/emissions. Following that session we worked in our small groups trying to come up with ideas to reduce idle times, to provide alternate power sources for all the vehicles secondary equipment, and any ideas to reduce vehicle emissions period.
My group specifically did well  Some examples include using a separate small diesel generator, shutting down half of the cylinders in the motor while at idle or even programming the vehicle to shut off at idle and start up by removing your foot from the brake and back on the gas, or increase use of lithium ion batteries. 
I have requested to be kept up to date on any progress or future meetings.
Thanks again for including me in this process. I find the concept of Fleet Challenge very interesting and hopefully, very successful.

1 comment:

Frank Podgwaite said...

Eliminate idling with the Medidock (for emergency vehicles) and the Airedock ( for commercial trucks). Maintain a comfortable safe vehicle interior temperature. Get power and battery charging ( for ambulances) See our website for full details

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