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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

You've heard of electric buses, but what about zero-emission ambulances?

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Monday, June 10, 2024   

From passenger cars to school buses, the transportation sector is steadily ramping up its push for all-electric vehicles. In the future, ambulances might play a bigger role in this transition.

A Minnesota-based company is working with various partners in showcasing a new, all-electric ambulance in hopes of seeing it used by first responders around the country.

MacQueen Emergency is an Emergency Medical Services vehicle dealer, and the company's Director of Business Development Kevin Devoy said the new model would reduce tailpipe emissions by 80% in the areas it drives through.

"It's based on the difference between what you're emitting with a diesel motor," said Devoy, "versus running the electric."

The figure comes from internal testing by the manufacturer - the Demers company.

Devoy said having this model in an EMS fleet can help reduce maintenance costs as well.

But he acknowledged that upfront expenses might be hard for municipalities and entities that make these purchases. A lack of charging infrastructure in specific areas is seen as another hurdle.

As these partners navigate early headwinds, Devoy indicated that they're optimistic they'll convince enough people about the benefits of eclectic ambulances.

In further pointing out the environmental impacts, he said having zero emissions will be helpful because these engines are running for long periods of time, even when the vehicle isn't moving.

"An ambulance tends to idle a lot," said Devoy, "because of the need to be on scene, or at the hospital."

Those behind this new model - labeled as Demers eFX electric ambulance - held a public showing in St. Paul last week before moving on to other states.

St. Paul recently captured attention for securing Minnesota's first electric fire truck.




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