Edmonton looks at fire truck GPS to control traffic lights
Edmonton fire trucks could be soon be equipped with a new GPS system that automatically turns red lights into green lights as crews race to a call.
"Seconds become minutes and certainly minutes are priceless," said Edmonton Fire Chief Ken Block. "The science will tell you that fire doubles every minute."
This GPS system is already being used in fire trucks in cities across Canada.
The Kelowna Fire Department has 35 intersections connected to its system, which changes traffic lights when the truck has its sirens on and is 500 metres away.
The system also triggers advance left turn signals to ensure the lane empties out as the truck approaches.
"We've really found that it helps a lot to get the traffic flowing in the direction we want them to, to get the intersections cleared," said Kelowna's Deputy Fire Chief Lou Wilde.
"To ensure that we have a green light when we get there ....it's a lot safer for the public and our responders."
The $585,000 pilot project under consideration by Edmonton city council would involve about 40 trucks and 40 intersections, Block said.
The system wouldn't just cut response times. Fire officials believe it could reduce the use of air horns at intersections