HCFR installs new locator devices on apparatus

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Automated Vehicle Locators (AVL) are now installed in 50 fire apparatus, including 39 fire engines and ambulances in Horry County.

The devices will track each apparatus and give both the battalion chiefs and the maintenance division critical facts about each apparatus. The new device puts crucial information at their fingertips.

"Say we're in Myrtle Beach during Bike Week, or any summer day ... We can look to see if there is a unit, not doing anything and move it down towards that way," explained Brian VanAernam with Horry County Fire Rescue.

VanAernam demonstrated the new program on his iPad, and explained it is an instant visual for HCFR to make calls, if a unit needs to move to assist in a fire or cover an area where an apparatus just left.

It's not just a GPS locator. It also gives crews real-time information on the engines, like speed or mechanical problems.

For example, if a fire engine continues to have braking issues, then battalion chiefs can track who was driving at that time and determine if it is a driver error. The driver could then go through training to prevent future problems.

Mechanical errors can also be determined and get fixed right away.

HCFR hopes to have the AVLs installed every time they purchase a new apparatus. The hope is to extend how long an apparatus will be on the road.

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