This came in from Councilman Oliver Koppells office.
At its meeting on August 22, 2013, the City Council passed a package of legislation to make city vehicles cleaner and greener by reducing harmful emissions. One bill, sponsored by Council Member Oliver Koppell, authorizes a pilot program that would place auxiliary power units in ambulances to supply cooling, heating and electrical power while the vehicle’s engine is turned off.
“Every day, the city parks more than 300 ambulances on city streets while they wait for emergency calls. All these vehicles keep their engines running to cool or heat the attendants or to cool medical supplies. The diesel exhaust emitted from these idling vehicles is a significant contributor to the city’s air pollution,” Koppell said.
The adverse health effects of breathing polluted air have been well documented. These include respiratory diseases, changes in lung function and asthma attacks, resulting in increased mortality, hospitalizations and lost days from school or work. Everyone is harmed by poor air quality, but children and the elderly are the most adversely affected.
“This pilot program will demonstrate the value of providing auxiliary power to waiting ambulances by eliminating the need for idling and will pave the way for equipping the entire ambulance fleet with this technology, which will have a positive impact on air quality in the city,” Koppell stated.
Editors Note: It would have been better for the 51 members of the city council led by Speaker Christine Quinn to have pushed for a pilot program of "Electric Powered Ambulances", which could be built in the Bronx by Smith Electric.