The Coon Rapids Fire Department recently took delivery of a new fire truck to replace its Fire Engine #1. The new truck comes with some recent advancements in emergency lights technology for improved safety.
“This will be a great piece of equipment to protect the community," said Nick House, Coon Rapids Fire Inspector.
This week, House, and other firefighters put the new Engine #1 advanced emergency lighting technology to the test, in the parking lot of the Coon Rapids Ice Center.
“With this system it can actually sync everything up so the lights are all flashing the same way,” House said. “Arrows sticks are flashing the same way to tell people that they have to move to the left, or move to the right.”
Coon Rapids Fire Engine #1 is the first fire truck in the United States to go into service with this new technology. In a demonstration that was being filmed by the Whelen Company, which created the new lighting technology, as the fire truck comes to a stop, alongside other emergency vehicles on-scene with the same system, it is the GPS technology that syncs them together through the atomic clock. According to Whelen rep., Bill Reeves, the emergency lighting system, called CORE, sets a new standard in safety.
“And the CORE System is an intelligent control system to provide scene management of lighting,” said Reeves. “It provide a safer environment for firefighters and the motoring public.”
The intensity of the lights can be dimmed when used at night.
“Being able to manage the light intensity, and syncing the vehicles, we get rid of the edge flash or that light blob as most people would see when they’re trying to get around an emergency vehicle at a scene.”
House says it can be programmed to a custom flash pattern, which best suits the needs of the fire department.
"By dimming the lights and by slowing them, it allows for the driver to look and not be blinded, not get scared that they have to go around the vehicle," said House.
Whelen provided $10,000 worth of gear for the new emergency lighting system. There will be one week of training for Coon Rapids firefighters, on the new truck, before Fire Engine 1 goes into service later this month.