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%.
No. 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.
Yes, anyone who has the Apple Maps or Waze app running on their phone, even in the background, will receive the alerts, regardless of their mode of transport.
SCFD currently has 20 units equipped with HAAS Alert, and five more trucks will be ready by the end of the year.
Currently, HAAS Alert is not available on Google Maps, though the developers are working to bring HAAS Alerts to that platform. For now, Android users will need to use the free Waze app.