Reducing Risk Through the Use of Traffic Preemption   [open pdf - 220KB]

"Limiting risk has been a long-standing objective in the fire service. The development of a tool that can assist in limiting risk while improving efficiency will be beneficial to the community. The problem is that first responders and the community may be exposed to unnecessary risks that are associated with emergency vehicles responding with red lights and sirens. Additionally, response times may be longer in the absence of an emergency vehicle traffic preemption (EVP) system. An analysis of these risks and a comprehensive evaluation of the results have never been completed. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the efficacy of such a system as it relates to response times and risk reduction. This research is only targeted at identifying whether risk and response time can be positively effected through the use of traffic preemption. An evaluative research method will be used to answer the following questions: (1) Will response times decrease if a traffic preemption system is employed; (2) How are intersections identified and prioritized for the installation of a preemption device; and (3) Can risk be reduced through the use of a traffic preemption system? An internal time study was conducted to determine whether EVP installation would reduce response times. This study involved the installation of EVP on fire apparatus and measured response times prior to and after installation. The results showed that EVP would not significantly reduce response times. However, data found during the literature review process indicated an overwhelming probability that both risk and response times would be reduced through implementation of EVP. A recommendation was made supporting implementation of an emergency vehicle preemption system."

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United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/
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