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Brookhaven, NY Makes Massive Push to Improve Safety for First Responders with Opticom System

Date: 2014-05-16
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Opticom™ GPS technology gives fire truck and ambulance drivers faster, safer transport through hundreds of intersections 

The Town of Brookhaven responds to more than 5,000 emergency calls every month. The town made the decision to upgrade to Opticom™ GPS priority control technology on more than 500 fire trucks and ambulances and at nearly as many intersections so firefighters and EMS personnel can meet the incredible demand more quickly — and safely. 

“Brookhaven has more roads than any other municipality on Long Island,” said Daniel P. Losquardro, Town of Brookhaven Superintendent of Highways. “It’s imperative for our emergency services to navigate these roads as safely and quickly as possible. When it comes to emergency response, every second counts and Opticom™ has certainly contributed to improving response time.”

For over 10 years Brookhaven has used Opticom™ Infrared technology for priority control to preempt signals in the densely populated town. Studies indicated that it improved emergency response times by up to 40 percent. So why did Brookhaven officials push for such an extensive upgrade?

The unique terrain of Long Island creates tight turns and obstructions that limited preemption to 300 feet or less at almost 40 percent of the intersections. Too often, first responders had to reduce speeds and navigate around cars to pass through these intersections, creating potentially dangerous situations.

Opticom™ GPS uses a global network of GPS satellites to calculate vehicle speed, direction and precise location to preempt signals even around corners or obstructed intersections. 

“The last thing anyone wants is an accident occurring during the response to an emergency,” said Losquardo. “The Opticom™ GPS system provides a clear path for emergency vehicles, resulting in faster and safer response.”

Navigating a demanding landscape is only one reason for the change. The recent upgrade also includes Opticom™ Central Management Software (CMS), which revolutionizes how the municipality maintains the priority control system. 

“Maintenance tasks can be performed in-house without sending employees out to a location,” said Losquardo. “This allows us to use resources more efficiently, thus saving taxpayers money.”

Today, every intersection in Brookhaven is equipped with Opticom™ GPS technology. As a result, 42 independent fire districts and 13 ambulance districts can preempt traffic signals to reach emergencies faster, with less risk. And, nearly 500,000 residents in the area have better access to better emergency care. 

For more information, see http://www.gtt.com/

- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via GTT, 5/15/14)

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