City's system tracks EMS fleet

A mobile data solutions provider this month announced the completion of

an automatic vehicle location system for Cleveland's emergency medical services

division.

Radio Satellite Integrators Inc. (RSI) will provide a system that combines

a Global Positioning System receiver, cellular digital pocket data and geographic

information system mapping software to allow Cleveland EMS workers to know

the exact location of each of their 37 vehicles, including ambulances and

supervisor units at any time.

"By having this device in front of the dispatchers, they will now know

who is where and more importantly, who is closest to the location in need

of assistance," Brett Lim, director of marketing for RSI.

Along with position information, a vehicle's speed and light bar status

are also tracked and transmitted wirelessly to the dispatch center. "The

light bar notification is a very unique feature," Lim said. "Whenever the

driver turns the ambulance lights on, it lets the dispatchers know who is

responding to a call and running hot, meaning their lights have been activated."

The system has been up and running since the end of June with only minor

complications, said Jim Willson, Cleveland's EMS communications supervisor.

"Most of the problems were the occasional wire coming lose, but we've fixed

that problem," he said.

According to Willson, the system is an advantage to EMS employees' and

their safety. "If there was a problem with one of our vehicles, I would

know their location within 10 feet of the accident," he said.

Cleveland EMS officials eventually would like to integrate their automatic

vehicle location system with their existing computer-aided dispatch system

in order to eliminate a step or two from the dispatching process, Willson

said.

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