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New app provides emergency response vehicles with faster, safer paths to incident scenes

The app can warn first responders of hazards along routes as well as leverage additional data to allow greater flexibility in timely situations

By News Staff

A new GPS system is in development to help first responders get to incident scenes safer and faster.

According to ECN Magazine, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate partnered with Azimuth1 to develop a GPS system called QuickRoute that takes into account specific factors that can delay response times.

QuickRoute features an alert system to warn first responders of hazards along routes. It also leverages additional data streams the public doesn’t have access to that will allow greater flexibility in timely situations.

“If you have firefighters who have been called to an emergency, and they’re driving, say, a hook and ladder truck—perhaps they can’t traverse a narrow lane,” said Science and Technology Program Manager Kimberli Jones-Holt. “QuickRoute will provide an alternate route to be able to get them to that emergency much more quickly than a traditional commercial application would.”

The system considers the emergency response vehicle being used as well as agency roadway protocols, bridge and tunnel clearance, turn radius and the vehicle’s ability to use lights to clear paths and avoid signals. It also uses other data sources including local jurisdiction rules, weather patterns and traffic and transit schedules.

QuickRoute, which will come in an app and desktop version, will be available during the second quarter of 2020.