Firefighting industry conflicted on vote requiring collision prevention technology for all fire apparatus
The NFPA 1901 (Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus) Technical Committee will meet next week in Orlando, FL to decide on critical life-saving technology.
CHICAGO — HAAS Alert -- Fighting fires is a dangerous job. Firefighters don't just face smoke and flames, though. In fact, traffic collisions en-route and on-scene is one of the leading causes of death and injury to Firefighters and First Responders. Between ever-quieter cars and ever more distracted drivers, collisions are at an all-time high. The fire industry has tried to address this by making lights brighter and sirens louder. Now, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) is considering requiring mobile technology that will allow Firefighters to reach drivers directly in their vehicles.
Next week, October 10 in Orlando, members of the NFPA 1901 Technical Committee will consider technology that allows Firefighters with lights and sirens engaged to deliver real-time in-vehicle alerts to drivers and connected cars via in-vehicle systems, connected in-dash and smartphone apps, giving them more time to make safe driving maneuvers. The Committee's decision will set standards for nearly the next decade: the last revision cycle occurred from 2009-2016.
Both mobile phones and built-in automotive infotainment systems increasingly give drivers reasons to take their eyes off the road. Today's mobile technology, however, can also help offer solutions for collision prevention. In-vehicle navigation systems currently allow Firefighters to alert drivers of their presence, giving motorists more time to clear the road and increasing safety for Firefighters and motorists alike. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that drivers alerted using "advanced warning devices," experienced a 60%-90% collision reduction rate.
"The chance to introduce new safety standards happens only once every 7 or so years, an eternity given today's rapid pace of technology innovation," said Cory Hohs, CEO of HAAS Alert. "We believe that the NFPA should lead on requiring this technology to protect Firefighters and civilian drivers alike."
"When responding to an alarm or while operating on the scene of a highway emergency, our personnel and the public are at increased risk. We need a simple and effective way to notify nearby motorists who are approaching the scene to slow down, go around, or avoid the emergency scene altogether," said Assistant Chief Brad Brown of the Grand RapidsFire Department. "Collision prevention technology will be required on all our vehicles and apparatus," said Brown.
Today's connected cars have the ability to connect to the Internet via integrated cellular technology, giving them direct access to safety alerts. Over 40M drivers on the road today already have the capacity to receive alerts through their native navigation systems and applications such as Waze, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto in over 600 vehicle brands and lines.
To learn more about the upcoming vote, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About HAAS Alert
Chicago-based company whose mission is to make roadways safer, has been advocating for collision prevention for emergency services and municipal road operators.