On-board intelligence aims to improve ambulance efficiency, safety

ACETECH system inter-connects four key modules to provide a range of benefits to fleets

By Jamie Thompson
EMS1 Senior Editor

An integrated vehicle performance monitoring and control, communication, safety, and fuel savings system was highlighted at EMS Today in Baltimore.

ACETECH was introduced to the U.S. market late last year, with Ferno billing it as first-of-its-kind electronics technology for the EMS industry.

It aims to provide system-wide, on-board intelligence to improve ambulance vehicle efficiency and safety, reducing an agency's operating and fuel costs in the process.

Jim Love, ACETECH's Program Manager, described it as a modular system, meaning you can have the four modules all together or as standalones.

"That is something that is different about our system as opposed to other peoples," he said. "The fact you have the ability to bring everything into an integrated solution can be a huge benefit to people."

Love said the system inter-connects the four key modules to provide:

  • Customizable monitoring and control of all vehicle electronics, driving, and occupant restraint systems
  • GPS-based monitoring and control of fleet vehicle assets in the field
  • RFID-based tracking and security for all vehicle equipment assets
  • "ECO-Run" monitoring and control of fuel consumption idling.

"One of the things that is really interesting about the system — and that's unique to us — is its active idle management system, which we call ECO-Run," Love said.

"It allows the user to take control of the idling, and reduce idle times by as much as 40 percent. With today's fuel costs, that's a huge thing.

"You can eliminate several gallons worth of idling on a daily basis. It could be about 12 to 15 dollars a day, 365 days a year, which is a real opportunity for a return on investment."

When the Eco-Run is active, it also creates an anti-theft system. The keys may actually be removed and the ECO system will continue to start and stop the vehicle, actively managing idling and expenses.

The value of ACETECH is highlighted by the fact that those who have taken the system on a trial basis on a handful of vehicles have since introduced it fleet-wide, according to Love.

However, improving the efficiency of the fleet is only one benefit. Love said another important factor is the fact it can help to improve responder safety, too.

"One module provides real-time feedback," he said. "If a vehicle is speeding or someone is going down the road unbelted, it provides real-time alerts that are fully integrated into the communications system.

"It also picks up any kinds of vehicle errors such as the engine overheating, low oil, etc.

"If any of this happens, it sends an alert out to the fleet manager, stating what the problem is."

Ferno manufactures and distributes emergency, mortuary, and health care products to targeted vertical markets worldwide. For more details on ACETECH, visit www.fernoacetech.com.

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