MONROVIA -- Officials demonstrated a system Wednesday that relies on NASA technology to help police officers and firefighters zip safely through intersections while responding to emergency calls.
The system uses advanced technology designed by Agoura Hills-based E-ViEWS Safety Systems Inc.
The company, which was founded by a man whose car was almost hit by a firetruck going through a red light in 1978, developed the system with the assistance of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"We're happy to be part of this," Monrovia police Chief Joe Santoro said of the Emergency Vehicle Early Warning Safety System. "We think we're going to be able to set a technological standard that will be used by law enforcement throughout this country."
Noting fire crews make 3,000 to 9,000 emergency trips a year, Monrovia fire Chief Peter Bryan said the system means faster response times and more lives saved.
"E-ViEWS can prevent fatalities," he said. "If the size of a fire doubles every two minutes, we need to get there as fast as possible.
"Most of our responses are medical emergencies. If a brain can die from lack of blood in four to six minutes, cutting our response time can save lives."
The federal government has spent about $3 billion to make railroad crossings safer and should make the same commitment to reducing accidents involving emergency vehicles, said Jim Davidson, E-ViEWS' CEO.
"This is a problem that can be solved. Today is the start of a campaign to get Congress to address this critical situation," he said.
In 1997, there were more than 15,000 accidents involving emergency vehicles responding to calls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Wednesday, officials staged six demonstrations of the system at Huntington Drive and Monterey Avenue for dozens of members of the media and more than 100 onlookers.
In the demonstration, Monrovia fire and police vehicles were each equipped with a transponder allowing them to trip signals as they approached intersections. The transponders gave them a green light while stopping cross traffic.
Signs at intersections will also announce "Warning: Police Pursuit" and "Clear Intersection" while approaching vehicles are still 3,500 feet away.
Monrovia police Capt. Terry Dochnahl said the city will begin testing the system in late May and spend 60 to 90 days evaluating the system and ironing out problems.
Seven intersections along Huntington Drive will be equipped - at Mountain, Shamrock, California, Myrtle, Magnolia, Mayflower and Monterey avenues - along with the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Ivy Avenue.
The technology relies in part on systems developed at JPL to help NASA communicate with spacecraft.
JPL wants to transfer its technology to U.S. corporations to improve the economy and lives of citizens who have invested in the space program, said Jim Rooney, deputy manager of the commercialization program at JPL.
"It's our expertise in telecommunications interfacing with small computer systems that we're transferring to E-ViEWS," he said.
E-ViEWS donated $600,000 in equipment to Monrovia as part of the demonstration project and hopes to make the technology commercially available in July.
From the Pasadena Star news
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Thread: E-Views come to Monrovia
04-26-2001, 11:29 PM #1Engine 101Firehouse.com Guest
E-Views come to Monrovia
04-27-2001, 04:19 PM #2dr infernoFirehouse.com Guest
Is this something new?
In my part of Canada we have had emitters on the fire trucks here for years that change the lights to green for approaching apparatus. Recently I have seen ambulances also installed with the emitter to help them in response to incidents. The ones here is a white strobe that flashes and is recognized by the receiver on top of the traffic light which in turn changes the light.
04-27-2001, 04:28 PM #3Engine 101Firehouse.com Guest
Yes this is a new system, The emitters placed in the emergency vehicle not only transmit a singal to chnagre the light but there's also a baord next to light that lights up in the directin that the emergency vehicle is coming from, There was a story about this posted a few months back here on Firehouse
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