Maine EMS recently received grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Bureau of Highway Safety to begin the Maine EMS Connectivity Project. This project seeks to connect all licensed EMS vehicles in the State of Maine to high-speed internet using a highgain, roof-mounted antenna and FirstNet Service by AT&T. This capability will also support the ability for ambulances to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal in and around the ambulance, including in homes (depending on distance and construction materials), that will facilitate greater access to online medical control, telemedicine, and the internet.
The installation will also include HAAS Alerts Safety Cloud. This technology alerts other motorists that they are approaching an emergency vehicle with their lights engaged through mapping apps like Waze or Apple Maps or through built-in technology within Stellantis vehicles (Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Chrysler). Soon, the alerts will also be automatically sent to roadway messaging signs across the state, depending on your location, alerting drivers of an emergency vehicle in the roadway ahead. This technology has the potential to drastically improve the safety of EMS calls that require EMS clinicians and others to operate on or near the roadway.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently notified Maine EMS that through one of their federal grants, we will receive funds to complete CAD integrations for all transporting EMS agencies in the State of Maine. This technology has the potential to streamline the documentation process for EMS clinicians who are currently manually entering times into Maine EMS and Fire Incident Reporting System (MEFIRS) electronic patient care reports (ePCRs). The Maine EMS Connectivity Project also includes GPS support for all licensed EMS vehicles to integrate their location into the CAD if it can receive such information. Doing so has the potential to dramatically improve dispatching and increase the utilization and deployment of existing EMS resources to respond to emergencies throughout our state.
Maine EMS’s grant funding will pay for the purchase and installation of the following items:
• Cradlepoint Router
• High-Gain, Roof-Mounted Antenna
• FirstNet Service for Two Years
• HAAS Alerts Safety Cloud Subscription for Two Years
• Forward Thinking GPS for Two Years
• Supplies Necessary for Installation
After two years, continued service will cost $187.50 per month per enabled vehicle. Maine EMS is seeking other funding streams to subsidize this cost; however, we have not yet received confirmation on those sources.
The installation will be by the statewide contractor, NEWCOM Global. They have bonded and insured dedicated installers responsible for installing these devices in EMS vehicles across the state. If you participate in this program, you will communicate directly with NEWCOM to set up installation.
If you have existing technology but are interested in upgrading your equipment or expanding the capacity of your equipment under this opportunity, don’t hesitate to complete the interest form. NEWCOM’s contract with the state allows variation for each unit based on what is needed to reach the desired level of connectivity. Therefore, we can perform upgrades to existing equipment if desired. If you have other emergency vehicles that you wish to outfit with this technology (e.g., fire apparatus, law enforcement vehicles, snowplows, etc.), there is a Master Service Agreement with the State of Maine that is accessible to local governments.
If your agency is interested in participating in this project, please complete the online form at https://forms.office.com/g/zLtVEdSrHM. Maine EMS will host virtual information sessions on this project. The first will be held via Zoom on September 26, 2023, at 3 PM EST; access information will be available on the Maine EMS website calendar.
Maine EMS Connectivity Project Launch (PDF) (9/13/2023)