Location tech to support SA summer fire safety

By on 1 October, 2021

Image courtesy Country Fire Service

Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) equipment will be rolled out across South Australia’s fire and emergency services vehicle fleets in time for the summer fire season.

AVL enables emergency services organisations to track the location of vehicles, helping to direct them to areas of need or warning personnel of the need to relocate in case of danger.

The South Australian Minister for Emergency Services, Vincent Tarzia, has announced that Netstar Australia has been awarded the $13.5 million tender for the AVL roll out.

“Netstar’s AVL solution has been tested thoroughly and can withstand high demand in some of the state’s most remote locations, like parts of Kangaroo Island, where phone connectivity is non-existent,” Minister Tarzia said.

“This is a significant step forward in terms of safety for our emergency services volunteers and personnel.”

Over the coming months, AVL will be installed in more than 1,400 vehicles for the Country Fire Service, Metropolitan Fire Service, State Emergency Service, ForestrySA and the Department for Environment and Water for operations across metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia.

“Importantly, the implementation of AVL also delivers on the Keelty Review recommendations and supplements the Marshall Government’s $97.5m action plan to create a more bushfire resilient state,” the Minister said.

During the trials — which took place between January and February this year — the AVL project team visited Kangaroo Island and covered numerous satellite-only areas.

AVL must work faultlessly in situations where cellular coverage is limited and the capability switches to satellite dependence.

Other trials took place in the Mount Lofty Ranges, on the West Coast, Yorke Peninsula, Far North and South East.

Bushfire-hit locations at Lucindale and Cherry Gardens also featured in the field trials to gather data from partially active firegrounds.

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