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Rochester Fire Department takes delivery of Pierce Aerial Platform with new idle reduction technology

Rochester Fire Department in Rochester, Minnesota has taken delivery of a Pierce Velocity 100' Heavy-Duty Aerial Platform featuring new idle reduction technology.


Rochester Fire Department has taken delivery of a Pierce Velocity 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Platform featuring new idle reduction technology.

Photo/ Pierce Manufacturing Inc.

APPLETON, Wis. – Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) company, in collaboration with Pierce dealer MacQueen Emergency Group, has delivered a Pierce Velocity 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Platform featuring innovative new idle reduction technology. The apparatus is the first of its kind and addresses the City of Rochester’s requirements to reduce emissions and its carbon footprint. The Pierce idle reduction technology incorporates high-performance lithium-ion batteries, lead-acid batteries, and auto-start with Command Zone, with 60 minutes of run-time.

“The City of Rochester is committed to creating a sustainable and resilient future for our community,” said Rochester Fire Chief, Eric Kerska. “Selecting a fire apparatus with idle reduction technology supports our initiatives to reduce emissions and fuel usage. It’s a substantial way we can continue to do our part to support the health of the environment in which our residents live.”

The Rochester Fire Department is made up of five fire stations that respond to approximately 10,000 calls for service each year. The department’s new custom fire apparatus will serve a dual purpose to support both fire and emergency medical service calls – with the average call lasting approximately 20 minutes. During service calls, the new apparatus featuring Pierce idle reduction technology will allow the main chassis diesel engine to shut down while battery-powering NFPA 1901 required devices, user-defined mission critical on-scene loads, and warning and scene lighting.

“Our team welcomed the environmental forward-thinking of the City of Rochester and Rochester Fire Department as we collaboratively explored options for fire truck idle reduction technology,” said Tom Soland, unit sales representative with MacQueen Emergency Group. “It was critical that the idle reduction technology not affect on-scene operations or take up a lot of space on the fire truck, and Pierce’s new technology met all those apparatus requirements.”

Rochester Fire Department’s new apparatus with idle reduction technology includes built-in safety interlocks, as Pierce’s Command Zone monitors battery voltage and temperature inside the fire truck’s cab–allowing users to control when and how long to utilize idle reduction. Recharging of the idle reduction components is conducted from a fire station power drop and complete in less than three hours when the batteries are fully depleted. Based on Rochester Fire Department’s average call times, a typical battery recharge is complete in less than 45 minutes.

“We are proud to offer our new idle reduction technology to keep vital fire apparatus systems running without using diesel engines,” said Eric Linsmeier, business unit director – electrical and software technology for Pierce Manufacturing. “Our lithium-ion battery technology meets our customers’ needs and results in zero chassis emissions, less frequent service intervals, lower cost of ownership, and reduced green-house gases.”

In addition to the new idle reduction technology, the Rochester Fire Department’s Pierce Velocity 100’ Aerial Platform features:

  • 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Platform
  • Cummins X15 engine with 600 hp
  • Pierce Command Zone electrical system
  • Custom compartments to accommodate ample fire and medical equipment
  • Electric-powered fold-down cab steps
  • Slide-out steps for efficient compartment and equipment accessibility

To learn more about Pierce’s new idle reduction technology, visit