GPS Tracking Fire Engines in New Zealand
Over in New Zealand a few dozen fire engines are being equipped with GPS locating devices in order to be able to dispatch the closest vehicle to the emergency. If the tests are successful more of the total 800 fire engines will be equipped as well as equipping ambulances and police cars with GPS units.
The GPS data from appliances will be sent to the Fire Service’s dispatch centre, which should speed up response times by letting it quickly identify which vehicle is closest to an incident.
At present appliances are dispatched from the nearest station, but many appliances do site visits or evacuation drills during the day and these may be closest even if the fire occurs in another station’s area.
Ambulance New Zealand plans GPS trials later this year as part of a $15 million overhaul of its communications centres. Police are also trialling GPS units in 60 police cars in Auckland.