Bergen Co. first responders to get equipment upgrades

First responders in Northern New Jersey are hoping to reduce response times and keep residents safer by rolling out a new, computerized mapping system.

The mapping system will soon be installed in emergency response vehicles. The maps put critical information at the fingertips of first responders, about homes, businesses and roadways. That includes the locations of fire hydrants and information about hazardous materials that might be inside a burning building.

The new mapping software can even tell them what size hoses to use on each fire hydrant, saving them critical minutes during an emergency.

The system was created by the Meadowlands Commission, which serves 14 cities in Northern New Jersey.

The software uses census information, which may prove useful during events like hurricanes to identify the locations of elderly and disabled people, who might need help evacuating. The team who created the software for the Meadowlands Commission says it's even working on adding floor plans to the map, so EMS personnel can more easily navigate buildings during emergencies.

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