SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Typically, a fire department’s priority is to ensure the safety and protection of all lives and property – but in Salt Lake City, the fire department also tackles sustainability.
On January 12, the Salt Lake City Fire Department teamed up with Yale Climate Connections, to discuss their journey into sustainability.
“We want to be part of the solution to our energy crisis and our environmental challenges that we have,” says fire chief Karl Lieb. “We’re always looking to minimize the carbon footprint and impact of all our fire facilities.”
According to officials, the city opened two new fire stations in 2018, each with 300 rooftop solar panels, geothermal heating, and cooling.
As the department further embarks on this journey they share a new goal for the year 2021; reaching ‘net zero’, meaning to produce at least as much energy as it uses.
“And the firefighters like being there. It’s really a second home for the firefighters. They’re there for 48 hours straight. They eat there, they sleep there,” Lieb says. “They feel very comfortable in these stations, and they’re proud to be occupying these buildings.”
Though buildings that focus on sustainability tend to cost more to build than a typical fire station, officials share that they’re far more efficient with LED lighting, high-performance windows, and folding doors that minimize heat loss. They are investments that will pay off over time in energy savings and for the climate.
“We continue to work towards sustainability and impact our environment in a positive manner. We couldn’t achieve this without your support SLC,” writes the Salt Lake City Fire Department in a Facebook post.
“We’re always excited to hear about Salt Lake City’s two net-zero fire stations. Thanks to Salt Lake City Fire Department for their hard work to prioritize public safety – including taking steps to build a more environmentally sustainable community!” responds Green Salt Lake.