9-1-1; What Is Your Emergency?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bulletin Board - Traffic Signal Tech Improves Response Time

Taken from Emergency Management Magazine, November/December 2013

Traffic congestion could soon be a distant memory for fire and rescue personnel in Palm Beach County, Fla.  An intelligent traffic signal system is being installed that will adjust traffic light cycles to favor the routes being driven by first responders.

Called Emergency.now, the technology connects Palm Beach County Fire Rescue's computer-aided dispatch system with the county's traffic control system.  When an emergency call is placed, a route is generated and transmitted to each responding vehicle.  The software then adjusts the traffic lights along the route to stay green for longer stretches of time.  The major difference between Emergency.now and other emergency traffic signal systems is that it doesn't pre-empt traffic flow by setting up blinking yellow lights or completely stop one direction of traffic.  The software adjusts the existing traffic cycle to meet an emergency responder's needs and goes back to its normal timing quickly thereafter.

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