SEOUL, March 20 (Korea Bizwire) — Last December, emergency response units earned criticism for failing to carry out a rescue within the so-called “golden period” during a multi-story complex fire in Jecheon, a traumatic disaster that left 29 dead and 40 injured.
The duration of time that firefighters have to bring people out to safety is soon set to be maximized, with the police announcing that a technology that autonomously regulates traffic lights to give emergency vehicles priority on the road will be expanded nationwide.
The technology works as part of a network that includes communications devices that are linked to emergency vehicles. When an emergency vehicle enters a 100m radius of an intersection, the traffic lights are altered to ensure the approaching vehicle can continue to its destination unimpeded.
Initial testing of the technology in Gyeonggi Province found that travel time for emergency vehicles declined by 20 to 60 percent.
The police are also examining the possible nationwide expansion of a manually conducted traffic support system for emergency vehicles.
The system has been in operation by the North Chungcheong Police Agency since last April. How it works is a member of the fire department is stationed at the police traffic data center and provides the police with information on vehicle dispatches and their present location. The police then manually manage the traffic lights along the roads to the destination so that the dispatched emergency vehicles can make a speedy arrival.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)