Greenfield Fire launches digital alert system to notify drivers of emergency vehicles

NOW: Greenfield Fire launches digital alert system to notify drivers of emergency vehicles

GREENFIELD (CBS 58) -- Greenfield Fire is the first agency in the state of Wisconsin to use a smart phone application to alert drivers of its emergency vehicles nearby. 

The alerts are sent through the Waze app. When firefighters and paramedics turn on their lights and sirens, the Haas Alert device inside the vehicle sends a signal to Waze and it notifies drivers close by. This Haas Alert system was created to prevent accidents involving emergency vehicles. 

"This will increase their situational awareness," Jon Cohn, Greenfield Fire Chief said.

The alert will notify drivers so they have time to get out of the way. Haas Alert partnered with Waze to add this feature to the app. 

"We’ve taken this digital siren approach by getting the alerts into the cars, embedded into the applications and systems people are using today," said Jeremy Agulnek, Haas Alert. 

The alert will typically warn drivers roughly 10 to 20 seconds in advance of the emergency vehicle being at your location. 

“Some critics might say this is an additional distraction but the reality is people are using these navigation apps already running, hopefully mounted on their dashboard and this will increase their situational awareness,"  said Cohn. 

Cohn is hoping these alerts prevent accidents. 

“The most important thing is for our responders to get there safely so they can administer the care once they get there," said Cohn. 

As of now, the alerts are available through the Waze app. In the future, Haas Alert hopes to integrate with other apps like Google Maps and Apple maps. 

Haas Alert is talking with other first responding agencies in the area to use this technology but it's not official just yet. 

If you'd like to get these alerts, download the Waze app. 

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