HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — The Rosenbauer RT is the first all-electric fire truck to hit the streets here in America. Its creators are currently on a cross-country tour showing off their eco-friendly fire fighting machine. On Wednesday, they stopped in Howard County on their way to Washington D.C.

“It certainly has some great safety features on it,” said Howard County Fire Chief Bill Anuszewski. “The environmental features, as far as reducing carbon emissions and things like that, is something we need to take a look at.”

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With the capability of running strictly on battery power for two hours, before a 6-cylinder clean diesel engine kicks on for a recharge, it certainly is eco-friendly. But It’s also packed with other features, like the ability to raise and lower depending on the situation.

“The vehicle can raise itself up to about 18-inch ground clearance and drive through 3 feet of water without a problem,” said Steve John, the head of special projects for Rosenbauer.

You can also launch a drone from the truck and have aerial photos sent directly to the driver’s seat.

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Another noticeable difference between the RT and a traditional diesel fire truck is the noise. The RT is extremely quiet, which John says is beneficial to first responders when they’re responding to a call.

“The last thing you want is noise clouding that decision-making. To make those life and death decisions you need, preferably, to have as quiet and silent as possible surrounding,” John said.

The top speed is 65 mph, the same as a traditional truck, but the RT accelerates much quicker.

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Depending on the features, the RT will cost anywhere from $950,000 to $1.2 million.

Sean Streicher