Largo Fire Rescue launches new safety alert system for drivers
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Largo Fire Rescue launches new safety alert system for drivers

Jan 26, 2022

Story originally published by FOX 13 Tampa Bay

LARGO, Fla. - Largo firefighters are now using the Safety Cloud by HAAS Alert system to send real-time alerts to drivers that notifies them when they’re approaching emergency situations.

"Safety of the citizens and drivers is paramount for the Largo fire rescue. The system does that. It protects firefighters. It protects everyday citizens that are in Largo," Brian Ammons, with Largo Fire Rescue said.

Currently the alert system works through Waze navigation to give drivers 30 seconds heads up an emergency vehicle is approaching or already responding to a scene.

"It also alerts drivers when we are on scene and let’s say we’re blocking traffic for an accident, it allows drivers to know from a notification that we’re there."

First responders say every second is critical when responding to an emergency.

"30 seconds, a minute it’s that much more time that we have that we’re not fighting traffic that we’re in route to the location for the emergency," Ammons.

Florida's Move Over laws require drivers to slow down and move one lane over when approaching active emergency vehicles.

"The Move Over law has been for a while in the state of Florida but the problem is not everybody adheres to it. So this is just one more reminder, ‘hey, you’re approaching a first responder scene’, please move over and give them the ability to do their job," Ammons said.

In the first month of launching, 300 drivers have been alerted by the system. HAAS Alert is working to expand the alerts to other services so that more drivers have access.

Stellantis has recently added the safety alerts directly into their vehicles. That means that drivers of 2018-and-newer Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, and Alfa Romeo vehicles will begin receiving these alerts in the dashboard of the vehicle, so they don’t have to use an additional third-party application. HAAS alerts will continue to go to Waze.

 

 

The new engine replaces a 1986 fire engine. Comparing the two engines is difficult.

“They are night and day different,” Haase said, excited about the new engine’s capabilities. “The 1986 engine no longer meets standards put forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Standards put forth by the NFPA states that fire apparatus should be upgraded to meet current standards or replaced after 25 years. The new engine will provide a more reliable apparatus with more capabilities.”

The new engine replaces a 1986 fire engine. Comparing the two engines is difficult.

“They are night and day different,” Haase said, excited about the new engine’s capabilities. “The 1986 engine no longer meets standards put forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Standards put forth by the NFPA states that fire apparatus should be upgraded to meet current standards or replaced after 25 years. The new engine will provide a more reliable apparatus with more capabilities.”