SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- During Springfield City Council’s meeting Monday night, approval was given to the city to apply for a SMART grant.

SMART means “Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation”.

If the federal grant application is approved, a collaborative effort between Springfield Fire, Springfield-Greene County 911, and Springfield Traffic Management could potentially save lives.

Trials for the prototype would be at Fire Station 1 on Grand Street.

“The way it would work would be that when there is a dispatch from 911, if it’s to Fire Station 1, then we would be alerted of that here at the Traffic Management, ” Tom Dancy, traffic engineer said. “Utilizing our existing traffic signal system, then we can estimate then what that signal state is going to be. “If it’s going to be a green light already for them, then they should be able to progress on through. If it’s not, then the system would initiate changes to try to help facilitate getting the fire truck through the intersection.”

Groups behind this say they won’t learn of any grant approval or denial until early 2023.

Ensuring faster response times is the driving force behind the effort.

“We spend in this industry an enormous amount of time trying to figure out how can we shave 2 seconds off of response if we can spend a long time figuring out how to shave 2 seconds off a call? That’s a big win for us.” Kris Inman with Springfield-Greene County 911 said.

The Springfield Fire Department has responded to over 30,000 calls for service this year.

“This partnership, what it will do is provide a prototype, if awarded, to be able to take one of our busiest fire companies in the city and use it to identify and or streamline traffic flow so they can respond to emergencies quicker.” Bryan Newberry, Assistant Fire Chief said.

“One of the things that we also were wanting to do is provide the video feed from our nearest traffic cameras directly to the to the responding vehicle. So they have a better idea of what the conditions are at the incident before they even roll up.” Dancy added.