STC In The News

South Tucson purchases Type II Fire Station Flashing Beacons

TEMPE, AZ - 05/02/2008 - The City of South Tucson, an enclave located in the midst of Tucson, has taken steps to improve response time for fire trucks by adding an STC optically-activated fire station warning signal system.

Located at 6th Avenue and 27th Street, the project allows fire trucks coming from a station on 27th Street to break traffic using the signal. When fire trucks leave the station, 200 feet east of the intersection of 27th Street and 6th Avenue, the Tomar pre-emption emitter on the front of each vehicle activates the system's master unit.

The Type 2 fire station flasher includes a single 12-inch amber lamp at the bottom of the signal and two 12-inch red lamps, configured horizontally, directly above the amber. The system begins operation when an optical signal is received by the Tomar Strobe Switch detector. The first interval is amber flash, followed by a solid amber interval. This is followed by a wig-wag red lamp pattern to stop traffic and allow right-of-way to departing fire trucks. Due to the arrangement of the lamp faces, the fire truck drivers cannot see them so a clear omni-directional strobe is included on the mast arm and flashes during the red interval.

All timing parameters are adjustable on the master unit's processor using an LCD screen with six-user input buttons. The slave unit is connected via a wireless link to the master unit using a license-free radio.

To minimize installation costs, the system is solar powered using one sealed battery. Numerous systems similar to these have been fielded by the City of Tucson since December 2002 and have been shown to be reliable and cost effective saving up to half the costs over a conventional hardwired system.

All lamps are DC LEDs either from Precision Solar Controls or based on Precision Solar Controls designs now being built by STC. These lamps had previously been reviewed and approved for use in Tucson's fire station flashers as they were shown to have sufficient brightness levels for use in such traffic signaling devices.

Installation and sale of the equipment was completed by P.A.C.E. Electrical with supervision by a member of the STC engineering staff. All equipment was mounted to an ADOT-type Q mast arm pole assembly. South Tucson was awarded an RTA grant to fund the equipment. David Ruelas, the city's Assistant Transportation & Flood Control Manager, was on hand for the commissioning and expressed great satisfaction with the project.

It should be noted that personnel from the City of Tucson's traffic engineering department were instrumental in defining this type of emergency vehicle signal, regardless of power source. They have also been instrumental in working toward getting this signal configuration recognized as a standard for emergency vehicle right-of-way. Richard Nassi, Director of Transportation for the City of Tucson, has informed STC that this signal configuration will be included in the next revision of the MUTCD in 2009.

Solar Traffic Controls (STC) provides solar-powered traffic control systems to city, state and federal DOTs; police, firefighting, industrial facilities and public works departments. Primary products are solar-powered flashing beacon systems used for school zones and 24-hour applications. For more information, please call 480-449-0222.

 

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