First responders use Waze app to alert drivers of emergency vehicles

The Charlotte Fire Department is using the alert system to help solve the problem of drivers not moving out of the way for fire trucks and ambulances

By EMS1 Staff

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A fire department is using a smart phone traffic application to alert drivers of emergency vehicles on the road.

WCNC reported that the Charlotte Fire Department and the Piedmont Medical Center are utilizing the Waze app to notify drivers when a fire truck or ambulance is coming so they have more time to get out of the way.

Waze partnered with HAAS to add a feature that alerts users of nearby incidents and warns them of emergency vehicle locations so they can better decide which route to take, according to Mobile World Live

“Keeping drivers and emergency personnel safe on the roadways is central to our mission,” HAAS Alert CEO and co-founder Cory Hohs said.

According to REV Group, which recently entered a multi-year partnership with HAAS, the emergency vehicles are able to broadcast their route to the app. 

“HAAS Alert’s Safety Cloud service aligns perfectly with our commitment to fleet and crew safety,” Jay Johnson, Vice President of Product Management, Marketing and After-Market at REV Group’s Fire Division, said. 

“Every time we go on a call this is an issue for us,” Piedmont Medical Center Eric Morrison said. “You add 15 or 20 seconds each time you have to deal with someone who doesn’t know what to do, you can see how quickly that can add up into minutes.”

Fire officials said four of their fire trucks are currently equipped with the technology, but all rigs will eventually have it.

“With this technology, we will be able to move through traffic safer and faster,” CFD Captain Jackie Gilmore said.

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