PFAS-free extinguishing medium boosts the environmental efforts of the Swedish Armed Forces

In 2023, the Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) will receive new fire and rescue vehicles as well as PFAS-free extinguishing agent for the activities of the Swedish Air Forces. Distribution of the new fire and rescue vehicles is highly anticipated and expected to begin in Q2 2023. The vehicles have excellent technical performance and will minimise the SwAF’s detrimental effect on the environment.

Fire vehicle extinguishing a fire on an aircraft
Fire vehicle extinguishing a fire on an aircraft
The health and environment aspect has been paramount to the procurement of the new type of extinguishing medium, and the technical requirements have been set high, but now there is a new framework in place for a PFAS-free extinguishing medium. Photo: Henrik Troedsson/Swedish Defence Materiel Administration

About two years ago, the SwAF made the decision to only allow the use of PFAS-free extinguishing medium in the new fire and rescue vehicles that soon will be distributed to the Swedish Air Force (SAF). In October 2021, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) was tasked with procuring the extinguishing medium.

"We are very pleased with the work performed by the FMV and look forward to a new era with PFAS-free rescue vehicles, while still maintaining the rescue capability of the SAF. Soon, the rescue vehicles will be distributed to the SwAF’s airports to be ready for real time rescue missions", says airport commander Göran Modig with the Air Force staff.

The SAF has ordered 22 rescue vehicles type II, to replace the existent vehicles. In November, the FMV carried out a check on deliveries and a factory acceptance test on the first vehicle, and conducted training of staff.

"The major challenge has been to merge the SAF’s performance requirements with the requirement to lessen the risk of damaging people’s health and the environment. We do not only wish to procure a PFAS-free extinguishing medium, but also make sure it does not contain chemical substances that are equally bad, or even worse than PFAS", says Tina Branting, environment coordination officer with the FMV.