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WFPS response times could be improved through new city pilot project

Click to play video: 'City testing out emergency pre-emptive technology'
City testing out emergency pre-emptive technology
The city of Winnipeg is testing out a system it says could reduce emergency response times by up to 20 percent – Apr 12, 2024

The green light has been given to a pilot project that is expected to trigger green lights a little quicker and help improve emergency response times.

The city says certain WFPS crews have started using emergency vehicle pre-emption technology (EVP) to cut down the time it takes to get to critical calls.

The technology has been installed at 17 intersections along Osborne Street and several other intersections in the area.

Ambulances and fire trucks that take that route will be equipped with responders that can automatically trigger green lights in their direction to travel. The goal is for drivers to move out of the way of approaching emergency vehicles faster.

Deputy Chief of Support Services and 911 Communications Tom Wallace says with this technology, response times could be reduced by a minute per call.

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“It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s significant for our time-sensitive calls,” Wallace said. “It’s safer for the operators, safer for the other motorists, and it actually reduces the wear and tear on vehicles through reduction on braking and accelerating.”

The lights will return to their normal operations after two light cycles.

The use of the technology began Monday and city engineers have already been working to fine-tune it.

The pilot project lasts until March 2025 and next steps will be assessed following that.

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