As the new year begins, County government is completing a project that allows first responders to reach their destinations in less time while improving safety for them and everyone on our roads. You may have heard of the program – Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) – but what you may not know is that St. Charles County is one of the leaders in the use of this technology. The program is the largest cloud preemption deployment in Missouri and the central United States.
EVP provides “green light priority” to approaching emergency vehicles. The system reduces emergency vehicle travel times during those critical moments when every second counts. The project includes upgrades to 351 signals throughout the county, 65 fire and rescue trucks, 60 ambulances and 75 County police vehicles.
Prior to this project, municipalities and fire districts were deploying various types of pre-emption equipment. Often, this equipment wasn’t compatible and didn’t work for agencies that provided countywide services or for agencies responding to emergencies outside of their service area.
Without the tremendous collaboration between agencies from public safety, public works, St. Charles County, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and our vendor, Global Traffic Technology, this project would not have been possible. Working closely with our partners, the intersections could be configured in a fully remote environment. Historically, on-site installations can be done at a rate of two intersections per day, but with this advanced technology deployment, they were configured at a rate of 30 per day (15 times faster). This quick turnaround resulted in a labor cost savings of approximately 75 percent.
The cost of the project was $809,000, including three years of monitoring and maintenance. Eighty percent was funded with Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality dollars. The remaining 20 percent was funded by St. Charles County’s voter-approved, ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax, which is administered by the St. Charles County Road Board.
My thanks to everyone who worked to make this project possible. This is definitely money well-spent to save lives.