National First Responders Day is an Important Reminder to Check-in on Your Emergency Vehicle Fleet

National First Responders Day is an Important Reminder to Check-in on Your Emergency Vehicle Fleet

National First Responders Day falls on October 28 each year to recognize the challenges and sacrifices emergency personnel face to protect the public. From firefighters, health care workers and police officers to different types of search and rescue teams (such as ground and aerial), each first responder plays their own unique and important role when a crisis arises.

First responders rely on vehicles to not only transport them to the scene of an emergency, but also to carry equipment that, depending upon the kind of emergency, is used to contain fire, to coordinate search, rescue and evacuation operations, and to provide medical intervention. Even though some municipal and commercial fleets are converting to Electric Vehicles (EVs), there are still numerous vehicles in use that have Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs). These vehicles typically use lead acid batteries for Starting, Lighting and Ignition (SLI), as well as support for onboard devices, including emergency response equipment. For example, many police cruisers are equipped with radios, computers, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), lights, sirens, audio/visual recording systems, speed detectors, tracking systems and scanners. Ambulances have much of the same kind of equipment, as well as tail lifts, data recorders, patient monitoring systems, defibrillators and other mobile intensive care and rescue equipment.

Onboard equipment for emergency vehicles usually is powered with a battery, which could be the main battery with deep-cycling capacity or an auxiliary battery. Both are often lead acid batteries, including many of the auxiliary batteries used in EVs. Lead acid batteries employ plates made of a lead-antimony or lead-calcium alloy as electrodes and a solution of sulfuric acid and water as the electrolyte.

The most common lead acid battery is the conventional flooded lead acid battery, which requires periodic replenishment of the electrolyte with distilled water. An alternative is the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery, which features plates compressed tightly in absorbent fiberglass separators that are saturated with the electrolyte. The compression enables the battery to resist high-impact shock and mechanical vibration. The AGM battery is also sealed, so it does not require replenishment of the electrolyte, which makes it maintenance-free as well as resistant to leaks and spills.    

An advancement in AGM batteries is the use of Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology. TPPL batteries, like ODYSSEY® batteries from EnerSys®, use plates made of pure lead, which can be made thinner so that more fit in the same footprint as a comparably sized conventional lead acid battery. The additional plates provide as much as 15 percent more surface area, which enables more electrochemical reactions with the electrolyte to generate substantially more power than conventional lead acid batteries. TPPL technology also provides ODYSSEY® batteries with a deep-cycling capacity of 400 charge/recharge cycles at 80 percent Depth of Discharge (DOD) to support the growing number of onboard devices, especially in vehicles used for emergency response.

National First Responders Day encourages the public to be more aware of the risks that firefighters, police, EMTs and rescue workers face and to appreciate the vital, life-saving services they provide. For them, reliable vehicles and equipment aren’t merely conveniences: they can help ensure timely arrival at emergency scenes and the ability to render the appropriate assistance with the proper equipment. Premium batteries, such as ODYSSEY® batteries, provide the dependability and performance that first responders need to help save lives.

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EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, designs, manufactures and distributes energy systems solutions and motive power batteries, specialty batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. The company goes to market through four lines of business: Energy Systems, Motive Power, Specialty and New Ventures. Energy Systems, which combine power conversion, power distribution, energy storage, and enclosures, are used in the telecommunication, broadband and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies, and numerous applications requiring stored energy solutions. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other industrial electric powered vehicles. Specialty batteries are used in aerospace and defense applications, large over-the-road trucks, premium automotive, medical and security systems applications. New Ventures provides energy storage and management systems for various applications including demand charge reduction, utility back-up power, and dynamic fast charging for electric vehicles. EnerSys also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers in over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. More information regarding EnerSys can be found at


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