D.C. Fire and EMS Gets GPS Equipment

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- DC Fire & EMS Chief Dennis Rubin showed off GPS equipment on Wednesday that will soon be in every fire truck and ambulance in the city. The display was in reaction to a mistake a week earlier by a fire engine crew during the call to help a dying man.

But is technology already in place that could have made a difference when Engine 6 went to G Place, NE instead of G Street, NE? Battalion Chief Demetrios Vlassopoulos confirms that dispatchers at the Office of Unified Communications (OUC) have automatic vehicle locator (AVL) screens that pinpoint the location of emergency vehicles. The AVL has been in place for a number of years.

Chief Vlassopoulos, who is the fire department's liaison to the 911 center, said there are a lot of things going on for the dispatchers to track the movements of all the fire and EMS equipment.

OUC Director Janice Quintana confirmed that the AVL "may have made a difference", but that there is "a lot of apparatus in motion".

9NEWS NOW asked if it should be policy for the 911 dispatchers to look at the AVL screen when a first responder says they can't find the emergency scene. Quintana said it is something they will discuss with the fire department.

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