Preventing Collisions During Fire Responses

February 1, 2013 – The very purpose of Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) is to lower response times by requesting signal priority for equipped vehicles. However, the potential for collisions involving first-response vehicles remains a concern even for agencies with basic EVP capability.

Vehicles equipped with the EMTRAC system request priority through signalized intersections by using secure radio communication with Priority Detectors installed in signal-control cabinets. Through this communication, these vehicle are able to communicate with other equipped vehicles, resulting in a efficient network of intersections and agency vehicles.

Among other features, this network enables EMTRAC-equipped vehicles to recognize immediate potential for collisions with other equipped vehicles—and to alert drivers of this threat. Driver alerts are provided by a compact, dash-mounted monitor, which:

Fighting Brushfire with Limited Visibility
  • Indicates the direction from which conflicting vehicles are approaching
  • Sounds an audible beep
  • Notifies the driver whether signal priority for the upcoming intersection has been granted or denied

While the collision-avoidance functionality is an optional feature, it is compatible with standard EMTRAC components—enabling agencies to upgrade their system without having to purchase new vehicle and intersection hardware.

The Stillwater Fire Department in Oklahoma uses both the EVP and collision avoidance features of the EMTRAC system, serving both the urban and rural landscapes that make up the Stillwater area. It’s not just large fire vehicles that are equipped with the EMTRAC system. Brush trucks, ambulances, police, and rescue vehicles also benefit from the safety features of the EMTRAC system.

One advantage of the EMTRAC system is that it allows for installation of only those components needed for EVP, offering agencies the freedom to expand their system capability as budgets and time allow.

Another advantage of this system is that it is compatible with existing optical EVP detectors. This ability enables agencies to upgrade individual intersections to the more advanced EMTRAC RF/GPS system without losing EVP capability at intersections with legacy optical components.

Please feel free to contact us for more information about how the EMTRAC system can benefit your agency.

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