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AFD ADOPTS DRIVER BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION TECHNOLOGY TO PREVENT EMERGENCY VEHICLE CRASHES AND IMPROVE SAFETY FOR THE COMMUNITY
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ATASCOCITA, TX, 11/28/2017 ATASCOCITA FIRE DEPARTMENT/HARRIS COUNTY ESD No. 46 announced today that it recently equipped its fleet of 24 Ambulances, Fire Apparatus, Command Vehicles, Utility Vehicles, and Brush Vehicles with ZOLL Road Safety®, an in-vehicle safety technology that modifies driver behavior and provides real-time feedback, alerting emergency vehicle drivers of dangerous driving habits.  The goal is to mitigate safety risks and instill a culture of safety among staff, reducing the likelihood of a crash.

“Ambulance crashes have become an increasing source of public concern.  There are an estimated 10,000 ambulance crashes per year; one crash every 2 hours,” said Chief of Department Mike Mulligan. “Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among EMS personnel. An accident affects first responders and their families, patients, and members of the community.”

The Road Safety system—much like an electronic co-pilot—measures multiple inputs, including seat belts, lights and sirens; speed; braking; and G-force on turns.  If a driver, for example, is applying brakes too harshly, taking turns too severely, or exceeding pre-determined speed limits, audible tones will alert the driver to take corrective action.

According to Chief Mulligan, his department invested in Road Safety because the immediate feedback allows his drivers to correct driving behavior that could result in a crash, at the time it occurs not during a review at a later time.    

“Road Safety creates a safe driving environment, protecting crews and the community.  It also addresses better patient care and outcomes, and increases the level of comfort our patients experience during transport”, said Chief Mulligan. He continued to say that, “The system allows us to clearly identify individual driver behavior that falls outside of established safety standards, which is used to support employee incentive and corrective programs.”

Unlike other systems that rely on post-event analysis as a reactive approach, Road Safety’s real-time audible feedback cautions the driver as they approaches the safety threshold, allowing sufficient time to take corrective action before a crash occurs.  The system also creates reports that identify areas for improvement.  Behavior modification has proven to be the most effective method in reducing aggressive driving, and both the number and severity of crashes. Behavior modification is key to building a culture of safety.

In addition to fostering a safe driving environment, Road Safety® provides the added benefit of reduced environmental impact through improved fuel economy, less frequent vehicle maintenance, and extended vehicle life.”

Atascocita Fire Department/Harris County ESD No. 46 runs over 5000 calls for service each year (about 70 percent EMS and 30 percent Fire) and is comprised of over 200 staff (both paid and volunteer). The department is equipped with the most advanced tools and equipment available making it able to provide excellent fire suppression, rescue and emergency medical services to the residents of Atascocita. Ambulances are staffed with experienced paramedics that function under progressive, evidence based treatment protocols using the latest life-saving equipment and advanced training in the area.  The Atascocita Fire Department works hard to ensure the residents of Atascocita are served by one of the best Fire/EMS departments around.


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