Mazda recently "donated" (as part of a two-year loan) five prototype Tribute hybrid electric vehicles to the Los Angeles Fire Department fleet. The SUVs were officially made part of the fleet at an event at Fire Station 27 Friday. The vehicles will be used in non-emergency situations (think fire safety inspections and school visits), according to Brian Humphrey, spokesman for the LAFD on the department's blog.

Fire Chief William Bamattre said, "What makes this such a significant gesture by Mazda is that these are clean, fuel-efficient SUVs, which means we will reduce our operating costs while contributing to a healthier environment." For two years, at least.

[Source: LAFD Blog via, Hat Tip to Alex Nunez]

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