As firefighters complain about longer ambulance response times, should cities be looking to new technology to help?
Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis says he is asking City Hall for nearly a million dollars to upgrade intersections with traffic light technology.
He says it will allow first responders to trigger traffic lights to change when they race to an emergency.
“There is about 48 seconds to be gained, nearly a minute for every response that we undertake, if we were to suggest that four to five minutes in travel time is what we try to achieve, nearly a minute would be saved.”
“The bonus is the firefighters are entering an intersection under a safer set of circumstances, and we also know that the general public will be stopped, and the firefighters will be given a green light, and the opposing traffic will be given a red light.”
The plan would upgrade more than 200 intersections.
100 intersections are already equipped with the devices, and have improved response times by four percent.
Garis says BC Ambulance could come on board, but would have to pay for its own equipment.