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Saving Lives And The Atmosphere, Pilot Program Will Cut Down On Emissions From Idling Ambulances

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- The fire department has launched a pilot program to make ambulances healthier for the environment.

EMS crews save lives while on the move, but idling ambulances could be doing harm.

"Each ambulance, when running, we found put forty-five tons of carbon emission into the atmosphere per year," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

As CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported, the problem is, the ambulance can't be shut down. Medicine needs to be refrigerated and equipment has to be ready to roll.

"Our ambulances have to be kept at a certain temperature. They have to be kept running, so the equipment is charged, so the radios work," Nigro said.

To help reduce the pollution, Nigro said the department is launching a pilot program placing ambulance charging stations throughout the city.

EMTs can pull up curbside, turn off the engine, and plug in for power.

"It would look something like these stations where you pay for parking, and receiver a little parking ticket," Nigro said.

The FDNY is working with ConEdison to figure out the best places to put the charging stations. Some people were worried about losing coveted parking spaces.

"I don't want to lose parking, but otherwise the idea sounds good," Charles Ogle said.

Nigro said the stations would also help the department save on fuel.

They plan to install 30 charging stations across the five boroughs over the next 18 months.

Most of the pilot program will be funded by state grants.



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