Families across Queensland will be safer as more emergency vehicles are given the ‘green light’ when responding to emergencies.
Premier Campbell Newman said Emergency Vehicle Priority (EVP) technology was being expanded to more fire trucks and ambulances in the state which had the potential to save many lives.
“This technology clears the path for our emergency services vehicles,” Mr Newman said.
“When a job is logged, vehicles fitted with EVP are given the most direct route and traffic lights are turned green well in advance so our fire trucks and ambulances have a safer and uninterrupted drive.
“It means that if fire takes hold of a family home in The Gap our officers will get there sooner, or if a young pregnant mum needs to get to a hospital in Southport, her ambulance will arrive quicker.
“We’ve seen its success in trials on the Gold Coast and in Bundaberg and now Brisbane and other areas of the State have come online, including 14 intersections here in Ashgrove.
“In September alone, Queensland’s emergency services vehicles were given 13,000 green lights in response to almost 2,900 incidents and there were many instances of better outcomes as a result of access to EVP technology.”
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said EVP cut travel times by up to 20 per cent.
“Every second can count in many emergencies and the fact that our first responders can now get there quicker is a massive boost to frontline services,” Mr Dempsey said.
“We committed to revitalising emergency frontline services and that’s why we’ve delivered almost $4 million to EVP this financial year.
“By June, 2015 almost 500 intersections and 300 emergency vehicle across Queensland will be EVP-enabled.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Lee Johnson said firefighters’ jobs would always involve risk and any technology to improve their safety was welcome.
“The safety of our firefighters is paramount and by clearing the run to an incident, their focus can be on the task at hand and not trying to navigate intersections with red lights,” Mr Johnson said.
“A delay in arriving at an incident could be the difference between life and death or a home being destroyed beyond repair, and we are already seeing this technology shave vital time off responses to fires.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the technology was a fantastic idea that was originally conceived by Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads traffic engineers which was now being used in a practical way to save lives.