Jump to content
WolfmanHarris

Traffic Signal Preemption - Opticon

Recommended Posts

Well some exciting news from the Community and Health Services committee at our Regional Council. After a three month trial of the opticon system on ten of our vehicles an average response time savings of 58 seconds was realized (from 8:09 to 7:11). Since staffing increases to obtain such a decrease would amount to ~ $3.6 million (3x 24hr Ambulances) the committee gave final endorsement to the system and the rest of the fifty front line vehicles are going to be refitted in 2011.

Now I know response times are something of a myth that we continue to perpetuate in EMS, but the danger of crossing intersections against a red signal is not. So while the region will be getting the response time decrease they desire, we'll be getting safer operations.

One shortcoming of the plan is that the opticon system is linked to our emerg lights, so L&S responses will not be decreasing at all, they'll just be safer.

Anyone else use the system and have any insights they wish to share? Personally I think they'll find them of limited utility in our North district, which is far more rural, but with how vehicles can end up far out of their district on busy days I can see why they'd want to equip them all.

The report to council is fairly interesting reading and may be useful to others looking at the system. I've summarized the findings here but if anyone would like the original report, please PM. As is my rule, I won't post the link publicly as I try not to obviously identify my service in my posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have them on most of our vehicles, and is does save time. But not much. There are no Opticom controlled traffic signals in the city, only SOME of the outlying townships and boroughs have them.

The big issue is not assuming that you have control of the intersection. We have had occurances when there is an engine coming one way, and an ambulance another. If one or both don't pay attention to who actually has control of the intersection (ie: just checking the flashing white light, and not the green), it can cause problems. (Insert volunteer slam here).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have them on most of our vehicles, and is does save time. But not much. There are no Opticom controlled traffic signals in the city, only SOME of the outlying townships and boroughs have them.

Luckily most of our traffic signals have them. The Region (County) took over installing and upkeep since all the transit buses use Opticon as well.

The big issue is not assuming that you have control of the intersection. We have had occurances when there is an engine coming one way, and an ambulance another. If one or both don't pay attention to who actually has control of the intersection (ie: just checking the flashing white light, and not the green), it can cause problems. (Insert volunteer slam here).

Good point. I guess as long as people continue to drive defensively and with due regard there shouldn't be too many problems since the vehicle without a green will have to come to a complete stop. What did you mean by flashing white light? (I work North district where they haven't implemented this yet.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the other poster was talking about intersections that have two emergency vehicles approaching at the same time. The white light is usually installed along with the Opticon system to let the user know wether its his/her unit that activated the green light thus allowing two different emergency vehicles aproach the same intersetion and to who has the true right of way.

Honestly I would give way to the fire guys, their rig is bigger LOL:whistle:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the other poster was talking about intersections that have two emergency vehicles approaching at the same time. The white light is usually installed along with the Opticon system to let the user know wether its his/her unit that activated the green light thus allowing two different emergency vehicles aproach the same intersetion and to who has the true right of way.

Honestly I would give way to the fire guys, their rig is bigger LOL:whistle:

I don't think we've got the white light. I'll have to check when I pull OT on a unit with it installed.

As for Fire, we very rarely run into another emergency vehicle on route to a scene. They don't come to many medicals and they usually have a good headstart to any structural stand-by's. Either way, good advice, you don't want to end up with this:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...