Skip to Content
City of Franklin Wisconsin
Main Content

Emergency Vehicle Preemption Systems

Safer, Quicker Emergency Responses for Franklin's Fire & Police Departments

Two of Franklin’s three paramedic ambulances are installed with Emergency Vehicle Preemption (EVP) systems. This is a cooperative effort between the Police and Fire Departments to improve emergency response times and to enhance the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and emergency responders. The larger benefit is to those needing emergency service and transports to hospitals. This will be a multi-year program to equip Franklin’s emergency vehicles and traffic signals throughout the community.

These systems are activated when Police or Fire units respond to emergencies with their lights and sirens. An “emitter” in the responding vehicle sends a wireless electronic signal to a sensor installed on the traffic control signal at the intersection. The sensor can tell from what direction the police car, ambulance, or fire truck is coming and takes control of the traffic lights as it approaches the intersection. The emergency vehicle is given the green light, while the opposing lights turn yellow, then red – stopping the traffic coming from other directions. This eliminates the need for emergency vehicles to cross traffic against a red light providing faster response and a safer crossing.

Crossing busy intersections while responding to emergencies is a danger faced daily by Police and Fire Department personnel, and it also places the public at increased risk for accidental injury. For many years, the Fire Department has already been responding to non-life threatening medical conditions without the use of lights and sirens. Not only do these systems significantly reduce the chances of an accident while responding to an emergency, they have the added benefit of improving response times. The difference of a few seconds can literally mean the difference between life and death for the victim of a violent crime, serious accident, or a life-threatening medical emergency.

The State of Wisconsin and Milwaukee County Departments of Transportation cover the majority of the traffic light sensor costs when they are installed as part of state or county highway upgrades or resurfacing projects—such as the South 76th Street (County Highway U) reconstruction that is currently underway.

Franklin paramedic units were chosen as the first recipients of the system because they frequently respond to emergencies outside of the City and transport patients to hospitals in areas where the sensor equipment is already in place, saving precious minutes for the patients.