Sedgwick County Fire District Uses New Service to Alert Drivers
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Sedgwick County Fire District 1 (SCFD) has a new way to warn drivers that a fire truck is responding to an emergency and motorists need to use caution. SCFD vehicles are now equipped with a system called HAAS Alert that automatically sends digital notifications to drivers in the area, when a fire truck’s lights and sirens are activated. The alerts appear through GPS on the cars’ navigation and entertainment screens and on drivers’ cell phones, letting them know a fire truck is en route or on the scene of an urgent call.
This advance warning, in addition to traditional lights and sirens, has been proven to protect first responders and reduce the likelihood of secondary collisions near roadside incidents by up to 90%.
“We’re happy to be able to add another level of protection for our firefighters so they can respond to incidents as safely as possible,” said SCFD Chief Doug Williams. "This service gives motorists extra time to see us, slow down and move over safely. “
Drivers do not have to pay for this alerting service. The digital warnings are delivered free through popular navigation applications many motorists already have, including Waze and Apple Maps. Plus, many newer-model passenger vehicles, including Jeep, Ram, Chrysler and Dodge, are sold with HAAS Alert pre-installed.
SCFD currently has 20 units equipped with HAAS Alert, and five more trucks will be ready by the end of the year. With this alerting capability, in the last two months alone, SCFD was able to notify nearly 87,000 drivers of an active fire crew in their area.
- April 2023 – 41,953 drivers alerted
- May 2023 – 45,044 drivers alerted
“I have no doubt this will save lives in the long run,” said SCFD Deputy Chief Kevin Nelson. “Warning drivers to be on the lookout for emergency crews will prevent accidents and make the roads safer for everyone.”