New York, USA, 19 April 2006: All city ambulances and fire trucks in New York are being equipped with GPS technology that will allow emergency dispatchers to track their movements in real time. A total of 1,565 emergency vehicles will be fitted with Automatic Vehicle Location systems — designed to locate them more accurately so the closest unit can be deployed to an emergency — by the end of the summer, city officials said on April 19.
A pilot programme using the technology has been in place in some fire and Emergency Medical Services units since September 2005. The new system has reduced the average EMS response time to the most serious medical emergencies. The AVL technology uses 24 satellites orbiting the earth to provide a map showing where emergency resources are located and can provide the longitude, latitude and course direction of a moving vehicle.
The cost of installing the new technology is expected to be about $50 million.