For years, public safety services across the nation have used GPS tracking devices in one form or another. From GPS tracking for fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars, to GPS tracking of enabled devices such as smartphones to locate a caller’s precise position, GPS has become an integral asset to public safety services.
So, when the team at RASTRAC hears the question “is GPS for public safety services really necessary?” the response is a resounding “YES!”
Here are a few reasons why:
1: To Reduce Emergency Response Times
First responders to an emergency 911 call such as police, paramedics, and firefighters are always in a race against the clock to reach the emergency site. The longer it takes for these first responders to arrive on-scene, the greater the risk that lives will be lost.
GPS tracking and mapping systems help first responders quickly navigate a route to the source of an emergency 911 call, helping to minimize the time it takes to reach the site of the emergency.
This allows firefighters to get to the blaze faster, medics to reach the injured quicker, and police to arrive on the scene to secure it sooner than they could without the guidance of a GPS route. By arriving sooner, these emergency responders can limit the spread of a fire, get to patients before they lose too much blood, or hopefully even de-escalate a potentially dangerous situation.
Faster emergency response can save lives, which is what public safety services are all about.
2: To Keep Public Safety Assets from Getting Stolen
It’s a sad fact that ambulances and other public safety vehicles can make tempting targets for thieves. Not only is the theft of an emergency service vehicle a potential embarrassment to a municipality, it can be an expensive setback.
Emergency vehicles often have lots of valuable supplies and equipment, from the medications and other first aid supplies in an ambulance, to the spare weapons and equipment found in police vehicles. Replacing not only the vehicle, but all of these supplies can put a sizeable dent in almost any municipality’s pocketbook.
Public safety services can minimize the possibility of losing a vehicle by equipping their vehicle fleets with GPS tracking tags so that if a vehicle is stolen, police can track its location and apprehend the thieves. The mere knowledge that a vehicle is GPS-tagged can do a lot to deter a theft from occurring in the first place.
3: To Optimize Patrol Coverage
Maintaining a presence on the streets can be tough to do efficiently when you don’t have accurate data about where your patrol vehicles are. Too many vehicles too close together is inefficient, but having them too far apart can compromise emergency response times.
With GPS tracking for public safety vehicles, you can keep track of where your assets in the field are at all times, allowing you to optimize patrol routes in real time. With the right map software, you can even create color codes for routes to show how long it’s been since a given route was patrolled.
Also, when an emergency call does come in, dispatch can identify which vehicle is the closest, further helping to minimize emergency response times.
4: To Help Keep Vehicles Well-Maintained
You might be surprised to hear that GPS tracking devices can play an integral role in optimizing vehicle maintenance, but it’s true. Combined with a fleet management software, GPS tracking can allow you to see how many miles a vehicle has traveled, as well as vital engine performance statistics that can indicate a need for maintenance.
This helps you optimize your vehicle maintenance to prevent costly breakdowns on the road, and ensure that emergency vehicles are able to respond when citizens need them.
In short, GPS tracking for public safety vehicles is necessary because it helps improve response times, protect emergency assets, and improve emergency service coverage.
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