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January 16, 2024

More Triad Fire Departments Adopt New Technology to Avoid Crashes

Story originally posted by Madison Forsey at Fox 8

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — A piece of technology is gaining popularity among first responders in the Triad for adding an extra layer of safety during some of the most dangerous calls.

“It’s probably one of the scariest places to be because you don’t have control of the situation,” said Chris Kauffman with the Kernersville Fire Department.  

Kauffman is talking about the feeling of a car barreling towards a first responder during an emergency situation on the side of the highway. The cars are usually going above 70 miles per hour, and the only defense they have are the lights and sirens on their truck.

“Cars nowadays are a lot more soundproofed than they used to be, so it’s a lot harder for people to hear us A lot of the time, we’re pretty much up on a person before they realize we’re there,” Kauffman said.

This is why the Kernersville Fire Department and more departments in the Triad are adopting the HAAS Alert system.

It starts with a small black box that gets installed inside an emergency vehicle.

“When our lights and sirens are turned on, and we’re actually driving, it sends out a signal to Wayze, Apple Maps and most Chrysler vehicles,” Kauffman said.

The alert says there are emergency vehicles ahead and gives information on the department or group responding. It also tells drivers to slow down and move over.

The move to install the program picked up in 2020. The Lexington, Thomasville, and Whitsett Fire Departments adopted the program between 2020 and 2021. 

Winston-Salem and Kernersville deployed the tech at the beginning of 2023. A-RC-H Fire and Rescue and Westside Volunteer Fire and Rescue started using the technology in the last few months.

About HAAS Alert

HAAS Alert makes roads and communities safer by delivering digital alerts from emergency response and other municipal fleets to nearby drivers. The company streams real-time alerts and other vital safety information to motorists and connected cars via in-vehicle and navigation systems when emergency vehicles are approaching and on-scene. For emergency response and roadway fleets interested in joining the Safety Cloud, click below to get equipped.

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