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.