Published: 23rd July 2013

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher has today announced an $850,000 rollout of new global positioning technology for all Fire & Rescue NSW fire engines, which will deliver even faster emergency response times.

“FRNSW has become the first Australian fire service to harness this advanced automatic vehicle location – or AVL - technology in a widespread manner,” Minister Gallacher said.

“This system uses real-time satellite tracking and the Telstra 3G network to identify the location of every FRNSW emergency response vehicle.

“This information is displayed in real time on FRNSW’s computer-aided dispatch system at its two communication centres in Sydney and Newcastle ensuring that once an emergency call is received the closest fire engine is automatically selected and dispatched to the scene.

“In the past, the system assigned fire engines and crews based on the street address of fire stations, and this did not always guarantee the fastest response.

“The end result of this new technology is reduced response times and an even better emergency response service to the community,” Minister Gallacher said.

The new technology has been installed in 70 per cent of FRNSW’s response vehicles in the Greater Sydney Area. The remainder of FRNSW’s metropolitan and regional fleet will be equipped over the next 12 months.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said each fire engine and its crew were a mobile resource.

“Firefighters are often out and about, whether it is responding to another emergency call, giving a fire safety lecture at a school, changing a smoke alarm battery in an elderly person’s home, training, or doing pre-planning at a major hazard facility,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“Each fire engine is part of a large network of fire stations and fire engines that are available to respond whenever and wherever they are needed. This new technology will ensure our response times are minimised, meaning better outcomes for everyone,” Commissioner Mullins concluded.