Statistics suggest that 240 million 9-1-1 calls are made in the United States every year, which is around 60,000 emergency calls every day. Emergency vehicles need cutting-edge technology to handle the massive volume of crisis calls to the police, fire department, and hospitals. Not only must emergency vehicles arrive as soon as possible, but they must reach dangerous locations such as sites of accidents, uncontrolled fires, violence, and more. Here are some essential pieces of equipment emergency vehicles use to do their jobs as quickly and safely as possible:
#1 Rugged Computers
Computers are the nervous system of emergency vehicles — computers help police cars track suspects, verify information, and follow incidents; paramedics download reports to better aid victims and survivors; firefighters reach emergencies and tackle problems upon arrival.
While many emergency vehicles still use two-way radios and car phones to interact with each other, public utilities, and dispatchers, modern emergency vehicles use computersconnected to mobile data terminals to communicate.
However, emergency vehicles don’t use regular computers found in stores, which cannotabsorb shock, resist water, and thrive in extreme temperatures. Instead, emergency vehicles use rugged computers that come in various form factors, are sealed against water and dust, have no moving parts, feature sunlight readable displays, and use the latest processors and solid-state flash drives. Only rugged PCs can keep up with the extreme demands of emergency responders.
#2 Warning Devices
Often, a few minutes can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why emergency vehicles must arrive at their destinations as soon as possible. Emergency vehicles are equipped with many different warning devices to clear traffic and avoid collisions as they travel at rapid speeds.
- Sirens: Almost all emergency vehicles carry sirens. These loud electronic devices are the go-to tools for emergency responders to clear the roads as they drive. Sirenscan feature different tones and pitches to help in various situations. Different types of emergency vehicles have different sirens to distinguish styles of emergencies. For example, a police car has another kind of siren than an ambulance. Sometimes, emergency vehicles only use sirens visually to reduce noise pollution in less challenging situations.
- Air Horns: These devices are powered by compressed air and create a loud distinctive sound in short ranges. Because air horns don’t have the reach of sirens, they serve to clear traffic and warn onlookers in the immediate vicinity.
- Public Address System: In certain countries where noise pollution can drown out even the noisiest of sirens, emergency vehicles use a loudspeaker alongside sirens and air horns to clear traffic. Public address systems also help law enforcement officials deliver messages to citizens from the safety of their vehicles.
Aside from sirens, emergency vehicles carry several different types of lights to help alert the public. For example, they mayfeature light bars, beacons, wigwags, grille lights, strobe lights, and LED lights to distinguish different types of situations at various times of the day.
These are three interesting types of technology used by emergency vehicles in their quest to serve the public in critical situations. Emergency responders are thoroughly trained in order to use the equipment correctly.