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Manatee County Commission Chair Mike Rahn expressed enthusiasm for a pilot program aimed at improving emergency response times by providing green lights to emergency vehicles at intersections. The EMS Signal Priority/Pre-emption Pilot Project will focus on key intersections along the US 41/US 301 and SR 64 corridors in Manatee County. With $300,000 allocated from a larger funding pool, 24 intersections have been identified for the implementation of this system.

County officials, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation, the Cities of Bradenton and Palmetto, and County EMS and Fleet Divisions, have installed field devices at traffic-signal locations and activated equipment in 10 EMS vehicles. After testing and adjustments throughout May, the system is expected to be fully operational within the next week.

The pilot program is expected to save approximately 11 seconds at each intersection, ultimately leading to faster response and transport times for those in need of medical assistance. This technology is seen as a major advancement in improving emergency response times and ensuring the safety and well-being of Manatee County residents in need of urgent medical attention.

Manatee County staff will continue to closely monitor the system and make any necessary adjustments based on feedback from the EMS team and other involved agencies. Overall, this project is expected to have a significant impact on emergency services in the area.

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