Game-changing track-and-trace technology will revolutionise bushfire fighting in South Australia with the rollout of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) equipment, enhancing fireground safety and intelligence during emergencies.
Software company, Netstar Australia, has won the tender to develop the AVL equipment. It will be a critical tool that provides real-time truck and vehicle tracking, ensuring firefighters and assets can be accounted for.
“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 for Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia said.
With $13.5 million in backing from the South Australian government following these in-depth trials, the track-and-trace technology is being implemented after nine years.
“This is a significant step forward in terms of safety for our emergency services volunteers and personnel. They should have been given this personal protection many years ago, but the Marshall government is proud to deliver this crucial capability for them.”
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.
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.
Food delivery apps use basic tracking technology in metropolitan cities across the globe, but AVL must be faultless in situations where cellular coverage is limited and the capability switches to satellite dependence.
The 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.