Langley Fire Dept
The Township of Langley is situated in the fast growing Fraser Valley about 40 Km east of Vancouver. The Township has a population of almost 100,000 and covers 325 square kilometres. In January 2001, the Township joined the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Partners for Climate Protection Program. As part of this program the Township committed to reducing GHG emissions and adopted a "Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan" which sets a corporate emissions reduction target of 10% below year 2000 levels by 2010.
In addition, in September 2007, the Township signed the Climate Action Charter with the BC Government committing Langley to a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2012.
One focus for action to help achieve these targets has been the Township’s fleet operations. The township has a large fleet of about 250 pieces of equipment and the fleet has taken a number of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions. In 2006 the Township became a Charter Member of E3 Fleet, Canada’s green fleet accreditation program. E3 Fleet enabled the Township’s fleet to take a structured, measured approach to reducing GHG emissions.
The Langley fleet consists of many types of equipment including street sweepers, dump trucks, graders, backhoes, cube vans and tractors, as well as the Township’s firefighting equipment. Diesel engines used include those from Cat, Cummins, Fiat, Ford, John Deere, Kabota and MB.
Given biodiesel’s fuel life cycle GHG reduction benefits fleet management believe that this renewable fuel is an important component of achieving the fleet’s GHG reduction targets. The use of this fuel was introduced on a step-wise basis.
An important first step the Township took before using biodiesel was to clean out its large 15,000 Litre underground fuel storage tank. Due to biodiesel’s solvent properties fleet management wanted to minimize any risk of diesel residue from the tank being released by the biodiesel and plugging fuel filters. Once this step was taken the Township started using biodiesel at the B5 blend level and increased the blend level each six months following its introduction. The Township fleet started using biodiesel in December 2005 and effective June 2007 the entire fleet was using a B20 biodiesel blend.
The Fire Department
A mission critical service of the Township is the Fire Department which is supported by a combination career/paid-call service consisting of 39 career and 150 paid-call members. The ability of the Fire Department to quickly respond to emergencies is vital to maintaining the safety and security of the community. In the last year the Fire Department responded to over 3000 emergency calls.
The Fire Department has seven fire halls which serve the community. The fire truck fleet employs 15 pumper trucks, 1 ladder truck and 6 rescue type vehicles. Fire trucks located at those fire halls closest to the Township’s fleet maintenance yard refuel at this yard using a B20 biodiesel blend. These vehicles have a different operational profile than other parts of the Township fleet in that while the fire trucks have a low Km usage they incur a significant number of operational hours due to operation of pumps and other equipment while providing emergency services.
The fire trucks located at more distant halls use diesel from nearby commercial card locks but are refuelled with the B20 blend when they are brought to the central maintenance yard for servicing. The Township’s central refuelling facility is controlled by a Computrol card lock system with accurate records kept of fuel use by each vehicle. To date, there have been no issues related to the storage or dispensing of biodiesel blends or a need to adjust blend levels in cold weather.
The soy based ASTM certified biodiesel is supplied by 4ReFuel of Surrey, BC and delivered to the central refuelling facility fully pre-blended with diesel.
Comments from Langley
Fire Chief Doug Wade says, “Our Fire Department provides a mission critical service and our equipment has only one operating criteria – start and go. To date, through the thousands of operating hours since we started using biodiesel we have not had a single issue that has affected equipment performance. As part of our fleet of fire trucks also operate on straight diesel we have observed no difference in operations between the two fuels.”