Beyond BRT (which does not mean what you think it means)

Big Red Trucks have been staples of North American fire departments for decades, even on emergency medical calls rather than working fires. Now an Oregon fire department is experimenting with shifting that paradigm.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue will try sending paramedics to medical calls in Toyota 4-Wheel Drive FJ Cruisers instead of automatically dispatching the more traditional big red fire trucks.

While the story (hat tip to Marcy McInelly) focuses on the environmental aspects of this experiment:

The old way of doing things -- sometimes described as "sending everyone to everything" -- is no longer economically or environmentally sustainable, Tualatin Assistant Fire Chief Dustin Morrow says. The public increasingly asks why an expensive engine races across the city when there's clearly no fire. Fuel consumption and diesel emissions have become carbon footprint issues. Vehicle maintenance and replacement is costly.

there are implications for street design, too.

Participants in CNU's Emergency Response & Street Design Initiative will be closely watching further developments.


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