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San Francisco rolls out smaller fire trucks

The Vision Zero truck aims to make navigation easier through busy city streets after a years-long battle between the fire department and safe street advocates


By FireRescue1 Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Fire Department has rolled out smaller, smarter fire trucks after a years-long battle between the department and safe street advocates.

Wired reported that the Vision Zero fire truck was unveiled in the hopes that it will make navigation through busy city streets easier, better protecting bicyclists and pedestrians.

The Vision Zero fire truck was unveiled in the hopes that it will make navigation through busy city streets easier. (Photo/SFFD)
The Vision Zero fire truck was unveiled in the hopes that it will make navigation through busy city streets easier. (Photo/SFFD)

“The fire department and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and safe streets advocates have a common value,” San Francisco Bicycle Coalition executive director Brian Wiedenmeier said. “We all care about safety. The solutions that we were seeking were putting us at odds with people we want to be working alongside.”

The new engine is 10 inches shorter and 2 inches narrower than the previous trucks, and the turning radius has decreased by 8 feet. The trucks are better equipped to maneuver through bulb-outs, which are designed to give more space to pedestrians.

Instead of doors that swing outward, the equipment compartments now roll up so less space is taken up when they are opened. The windows are also now tint-free, in case a firefighter needs to communicate with a pedestrian or biker.

The Vision Zero truck also has four cameras placed around it for a 360-degree view.

“We want to be as flexible as possible and good neighbors,” San Francisco Fire Department Assistant Deputy Chief Anthony Rivera said.

The department currently has six of the trucks, and plans to roll out two more soon, but Walk San Francisco policy overseer Cathy DeLuca said there is more to be done.

“Traffic circles, speed humps — the fire department has not been approving those to the extent that we would like to see them, because they’re concerned about response time.”

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