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Naples approves $207,500 to give first responders control of traffic lights

Posted at 6:18 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 18:18:16-04

Lieutenant Corey Adamski has seen a lot of growth in the Naples area in his eleven years with the Naples Fire Department - and emergency calls have gone way up.

"When I first got hired, we were running less than five thousand calls a year," Adamski said. "Now we're over six thousand calls a year."

He's glad that Naples city council just approved $207,512 to purchase equipment that allows first responders to control traffic lights at twenty-four additional intersections in the city - and cut down on delays when they're trying to save lives.

"It's safer for the first responders, it's safer for the public," Adamski said. "It's definitely better for anybody who's waiting on us, so we can get there faster."

The equipment - called Opticom - works by automatically sending out a signal from a fire truck or ambulance with its lights and sirens running. The signal alerts an upcoming traffic light equipped with the Opticom system to change to green.

The Opticom system is already in place in parts of Collier County, including major intersections along U.S. 41.

"It reduces our response times," said John McMahon, assistant chief of operations with North Collier Fire and Rescue. "It gives us the opportunity to get to these incidents so much quicker."

Many of the 24 new traffic light controls will be installed at intersections along Goodlette-Frank Road, Tenth Street and Eighth Street, as well as other heavily-traveled locations.

The City of Naples can request to be reimbursed for the costs from the Florida Department of Transportation.