Ahead of the upcoming bushfire season, the South Australian government said it will invest A $ 13.5 million in rolling out Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) to improve safety and intelligence in fire emergencies.
According to Minister of Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia, Netstar Australia has won a tender to buy more AVL 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. to install operations in the metropolitan area of Adelaide and in the South Australia region.
AVL provides real-time location information from fire engines and other emergency vehicles in the event of an incident.
“Netstar’s AVL solution has been thoroughly tested and can withstand high demand in some of the most remote locations in the state, such as parts of Kangaroo Island where no phone connection is available,” said Tarzia.
Tests with the AVL equipment were conducted between January and February this year on Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Ranges and Yorke Peninsula. The bushfires hit Lucindale and Cherry Gardens were also seen in the field trials.
Implementing AVL was a key recommendation in the Keetly Review, an independent review of the state’s 2019-20 bushfire season. The final report presented in June 2020 contained 68 findings and 15 recommendations.
Earlier this year, the state government announced a $ 6.5 million SASAT1 space mission that will see the state launch its own small satellite into low orbit in 2022.
Once launched, the satellite will be used to help improve government emergency services, the environment, water monitoring and bushfire control over a period of three years through 2024.
The South Australian government’s move is following in the footsteps of other Australian states equipping firefighters with advanced technology, such as New South Wales, which announced it would invest A $ 28 million over four years in researching and developing new technology to combat it to support future bushfires.