Excerpts from wdio.com:

The Duluth Fire Department recently put a new apparatus into service adding a features unique to the vehicle. 

The HAAS safety cloud … a system that alerts drivers using Apple maps, or Waze, or those that have a Jeep, Chrysler or Dodge that’s 2008 or newer. This system will alert them when a fire truck is approaching and attempts to determine if the apparatus and private vehicle will intersect either head on or from the side. It will tone down the stereo and it will pop up an alert saying ‘warning, emergency vehicle approaching’.

Once the apparatus arrives on scene and is placed in park, the vehicle automatically will set up a surrounding geofence. 

“Any vehicle that’s going to be intersecting that fire truck or that scene is alerted that there’s an emergency scene ahead,” said Deputy Chief Mike Consie. “And what that does for us, especially on I-35, is really important to slow drivers down, to reduce accidents and fatalities. We also are excited about it from the standpoint that it helps our community be alerted and not be surprised when we pop up on them, because with vehicles being more soundproof now, it’s a little bit harder to hear our sirens.”

The fire department hopes to eventually retrofit their current vehicles with this new technology. 

“Another benefit as we get this and more apparatus, we can upgrade the software and the technology to do driver training. So when two fire trucks are going to intersect each other, it will flash and indicate that there’s an emergency vehicle approaching,” said Consie. “This is just one more layer that prevents accidental collision with fire apparatus.”

This alert system has been proven to work in other areas, saving lives. 

“Grand Rapids, Michigan had a huge problem with collisions on the interstate,” Concise said. “Right before they put this into their vehicles, they were actually looking at buying just cheap fire trucks that are like used somewhere, and they would run to fire trucks on scene and use one for a blocking agent. But now with the institution of the system, they don’t actually need that extra blocking edge, and it’s greatly reduced their near misses on the freeway.”

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