The City of Spruce Grove
Technologies designed and installed a cutting edge emergency vehicle traffic pre-emption system in Spruce Grove, Alberta.
As a growing municipality, the City of Spruce Grove was challenged to deal with increased traffic volumes and complexity across its roadway system. A solution was needed to allow the City's emergency vehicles to flow unimpeded through the City's 22 major signalized intersections to shorten emergency response timeframes.
A request for proposal was issued to the market place for the design, supply and installation of a GPS-based pre-emption technology to anticipate approaching emergency vehicles, and signal the traffic controller to pre-empt the intersection and ensure there is a green light when the emergency vehicle arrives.
The City also needed to ensure that the system they selected could be seamlessly integrated into their pre-existing network of traffic cabinets and controllers currently installed around the City. Furthermore, a qualified engineering and construction firm needed to be selected to trouble-shoot the new technology and implement the system in an effective manner.
EPCOR Technologies proposal, emphasizing close working relationships between our internal engineering personnel & field technicians and the product supplier, was selected. The Technologies team worked with a vehicle contractor to install radio/GPS antennas in each of Spruce Grove's emergency vehicles, while our own crews simultaneously installing control units and radio/GPS antennas at each of Spruce Grove's 22 intersections.
This type of implementation was just the second of its kind in Western Canada, requiring our technicians to develop a fully customized cabinet wiring solution and additional customization to account for the three different traffic controller types in place throughout the City. The project also required the installation of specialized cable in existing underground conduit, which connected each of the traffic signal poles to the traffic cabinet.
When fully commissioned, the system automatically detects emergency vehicles and sends its speed and position to the intersection radio, allowing the signal controller to initialize a pre-emption routine. The system can also detect the turn signal of the vehicle, providing an advance left signal without require the emergency vehicle to yield to oncoming traffic.
Since the system was activated in September 2011, the Spruce Grove Fire Department has reported a significant improvement in their emergency response times. EPCOR Technologies has gone on to support the City of Spruce Grove with additional traffic controller upgrades for the continued enhancement of the traffic system.