The Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation (AFRF) has launched the Fleet Forward capital campaign to provide additional equipment for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) through increased innovation and sustainability with a $500,000 inaugural gift from Norfolk Southern.
The Fleet Forward capital campaign seeks to raise $3 million to pilot and purchase the department’s first electric fire engine and electric vehicle rapid response vehicles. This bolstering of the city’s fleet with innovative and sustainable technology will best serve residents for years to come. The lead gift from Norfolk Southern demonstrates strong support from the City of Atlanta’s private sector for the campaign.
“Norfolk Southern is focused on advancing safety and sustainability for our business, our customers, and the communities we serve,” says Alan Shaw, Norfolk Southern president and CEO. “The Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation’s Fleet Forward campaign is playing a critical role, helping to propel innovation and sustainability for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. This investment is also a symbol of our commitment to our first responders — heroes in our communities. Together, we’re making progress for a safer Atlanta.”
Many experts consider EV options to be easier to service and repair than diesel trucks, and the advanced technology aligns with the City of Atlanta’s 2017 commitment to increase its EV readiness and ensure Atlanta remains a leading city in sustainability. Once completed, the Fleet Forward campaign will showcase AFRD as a fire and emergency response industry leader due to its enhanced ability to serve residents more rapidly and efficiently throughout the city’s geographic footprint.
“At the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation, we believe that every challenge presents an opportunity for diversified solutions,” says Taos Wynn, interim president and CEO, AFRF. “The Fleet Forward capital campaign will provide the city with the necessary blueprint and capital to significantly improve fire and emergency response through private and public support that leverages the best of innovation and sustainability in the fire industry. We deeply appreciate the support of Norfolk Southern with its generous gift on behalf of the brave fire rescue personnel and the residents of the City of Atlanta.”
Chris Sizemore, AFRF vice chair and incoming board chair, says today’s technological advances have evolved traditional fire-rescue equipment into eco-friendlier public safety response tools. This green initiative and campaign for AFRD augments existing efforts by Mayor Andre Dickens and the Atlanta City Council to source additional funding through private and philanthropic support and is more important and timelier than ever.
“The city cannot tackle the climate change crisis alone — it takes partnerships like this to achieve our shared goal of a resilient and sustainable Atlanta,” says Dickens. “The Fleet Forward Capital Campaign will both bolster and modernize AFRD’s fleet and increase our cost and energy efficiencies. Thank you to Norfolk Southern for their generosity, and to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation for their commitment to the health and safety of our community.”