Satellite Tech Plays Larger Role for Emergency Crews

First responders use GPS, other tech to find victims
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted May 20, 2008 5:19 PM CDT
A TomTom GPS device is displayed in a Best Buy store Tuesday, April 8, 2008, in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Emergency workers are increasingly turning to global-positioning and vehicle-tracking systems to find their way to victims and dispatch crews more efficiently, USA Today reports. "Clearly, we're in a business where seconds count," an Arizona fire official said. "If you're using GPS or automatic vehicle locator, it's a tremendous life savings you can't put a value on."

About 25% of US ambulances, 15% of fire vehicles, and 10% of police cars use automatic vehicle location systems that allow workers to dispatch vehicles faster and better. Finding funds remains an issue, but cities such as Washington are moving, spurred by incidents like one in which a man died after crews mixed up G Street and G Place.