Firefighters bet on solar energy

El Vocero | May 8, 2018

(Translated with Google Translate)

The Fire Department of Puerto Rico has ruled out the traditional energy service provided by the Electric Power Authority (AEE), and has instead opted for the installation of a solar energy system in each of its stations.

The commissioner of the Fire Department, Alberto Cruz Albarrán, told EL VOCERO that the transition to solar energy was completed in five fire stations, which are located in Barrio Obrero in Santurce, the town of Castañer in Lares, Maunabo, Humacao and part of the fire department of the island municipality of Vieques.

"We now have five structures working with solar energy. This was an initiative of Captain (Richard) Birt of the Fire Department of Las Vegas, Nevada, who after the passage of Hurricane Maria was concerned about the state of firefighters and when he arrived in Puerto Rico he brought some equipment and here specifically at this station (from Old San Juan) some solar panels with batteries and others were installed to give light to the ship, the radio and the kitchen, so that the boys (cover) the basic needs," said Albarrán.

In addition, the commissioner estimated that for the next two years the 96 fire stations around the island could be operating only with renewable energy. This, he said, would make them the first government agency that would operate completely without the service of PREPA.

As reported by NBC 3 News Las Vegas, Captain Birt was helping in November of last year in the installation of micro electrical networks, desalination systems and water purification in the different fire stations on the island.

Birt, who has been working in the Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Department for more than 17 years, is considered an expert in the installation of solar energy and has worked with the non-profit organization Empowered by Light, which has energized communities in Africa. , Asia and America.

Trucks are missing

On the other hand, Cruz Albarrán disaggregated the needs that the Fire Department currently has, such as, for example, acquiring new trucks.

"We have to renew our fleet. We have already started with a training program for all firefighters in different areas, "the official added, at the same time saying that they have authorized the purchase of protective equipment for the personnel they need.