Startup seeks to keep emergency vehicles safe on the streets


(Grand Rapids, MI) Like many of its counterparts across North America, the Grand Rapids Fire Department in Michigan is grappling with an unfortunate side effect of continually improving auto engineering and technology – namely, people crashing into its fire engines and endangering emergency responders.

The system has been developed by HAAS Alert, a company started in Chicago in 2015 after co-founder Cory Hohs was nearly hit by an ambulance while on his motorcycle.

Hohs says he believed there had to be a better way to inform motorists that emergency vehicles were approaching, so he and co-founders Jigar Patel and Noah Levens got to work on building a wireless warning system.

They’ve since sold a hundred U.S. cities – Grand Rapids is the largest so far – on their system and have tested it in a number of other markets, including Winnipeg.

The company has landed deals with a number of emergency-vehicle manufacturers including E-One, Ferrara Fire Apparatus and KME to directly build its tracking technology into trucks, as well as with after-market outfitters such as Code 3 and Active911.

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Vernon County jail upgrades include new emergency alert system


(VERNON COUNTY, MO) A Southwest Missouri jail is upgrading security for its lockup.

A new video surveillance system means jailers have more options for keeping track of inmates. New monitors make it easier to keep tabs on the dozens of cameras trained on jail cells, a project paid by funds from the jail commissary. They’ve also added a new communications alert called “Active 911.”

“A fire or automobile accident, or whatever the case is–that information gets pushed to their cell phone device through this Active 911 system, giving them the details of the call, the address of the call,” Sheriff Jason Mosher explained.

The Nevada Fire Department first started testing the the system. Vernon County emergency dispatchers have now adopted Active 911 as well as smaller fire departments throughout the county.

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Outage Debrief – October 31 2019

What Happened

On Oct 21st at 11:46 ET our internal monitoring alerted us to a problem.  After investigation, we discovered our real-time communication service that enables us to provide response buttons, device position updates, and chat messages was not responding.  The service was restarted and the problem was fixed by 12:12 ET.

What went Wrong

  • We were investigating and monitoring a memory leak problem.  Our projections told us we had a couple of weeks left before we needed to take action, but we had an unanticipated spike in memory consumption that moved the timeline up.
  • We had to make some manual adjustments to connect to the right server that added a couple of minutes to the outage.

How we’re fixing it

  • We’re making sure to eliminate those manual adjustments we needed to make to connect to the server.
  • Despite logging 40 hours against finding the cause of the memory leak, we are no closer to a fix.  We’ll be setting up a meeting to determine how best proceed to minimize and eventually eliminate the impact of this problem and service.