New ambulance company serving Lenoir City, Loudon using breakthrough tracking technology
LORI TUCKER 6 News Anchor/Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - A new ambulance company providing emergency services for Lenoir City and Loudon is using breakthrough technology along with the Loudon E-911 center.

It's designed to help Priority Ambulance get to the scene of an emergency quicker than before in the area.

An interactive map lets the dispatcher know without question which ambulance in the system is the closest, showing the vehicle number and location.

The nearest ambulance to the call gets an on screen message loudly and clearly, and turn-by-turn directions to the scene begin.

It's a big step up from what this particular emergency system had before.

"In the past, before the new technology, we would dispatch units based on the zones that they were assigned to," said Jennifer Estes, Loudon County E-911 director.

With the new system, they're able to see where each ambulance is without having to ask their location.

"We knew when our ambulances were busy on calls but we didn't know actually where they were in between calls, necessarily," said Estes.

Dennis Rowe, director of operation with Priority Ambulance, says it's all about shaving as many seconds as possible.

"Cutting time is one of the best medications when you have an emergency. You want somebody there quickly, timely, and be efficient at that and this device allows us to do that," he said.

The only downside, Rowe says, is stormy weather, which can sometimes disrupt the system. The ambulance service keeps traditional maps on board in the event that happens.