Ambulance, sheriff closer to success with vehicle tracking system

Callaway County Ambulance District Director Charlie Anderson tracks a pair of his ambulances using the Geo-Comm AVL (automatic vehicle locator) system. Callaway officials say progress has been made to make the system more reliable.

Callaway County Ambulance District Director Charlie Anderson tracks a pair of his ambulances using the Geo-Comm AVL (automatic vehicle locator) system. Callaway officials say progress has been made to make the system more reliable.

After months of working through a series of roadblocks, representatives with the Callaway County Ambulance District and the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office say GeoComm is closer than ever to working out a solution to making the AVL (automated vehicle location) system work for their respective agencies.

Although GeoComm’s newest solution — an external GPS modem installed in each vehicle, this time with more-reliable AT&T air cards rather than T-Mobile cards that proved to be too unreliable — still is not at the point of being a “success,” the Callaway agencies have once again agreed to give the software company more time to fix it.

“We are still in the process of testing the modems with the second air cards. We have seen marked improvement, but not to the point where we would deem it successful,” said Sgt. Clay Chism with the sheriff’s office. “The primary issue remains that when the signal is lost and then regained, the GPS signal does not come back to life. The issue has not been as repetitive, but it still exists.

“Geo-Comm’s working with us to resolve the issues and we have agreed to continue testing over the next month.”

CCAD Director Charlie Anderson agreed that while not ideal, there have been significant improvements to how well the system works.

“With the AT&T air cards, the AVL works where we expect it to — anywhere we have a signal with AT&T,” Anderson said. “The problem we’re still having is when a vehicle sits for a while and then goes out on a call, the GPS doesn’t pick up.”

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