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New Technology Helping Reduce Emergency Response Times

SOUTH JERSEY, N.J. (CBS) -- If you've ever had to call 911 for a medical emergency - in all likelihood - the paramedics were dispatched from a central location, but Virtua is changing that by using historical data from past 911 calls, factoring in the time of day, and even considering current weather and traffic issues.

"It's definitely going to be saving lives," said Virtua Assistant Vice President Scott Kasper.

Virtua's computer system can now predict when and where an emergency may happen.

"We've been able to use that to deploy our fleet in the most effective way possible to get to those calls the fastest when they occur," said Kasper.

Think of this new system like a weather map for emergencies. The darker the colors, the more likely there is to be a 911 call.

Virtua's 13 paramedic units have GPS locators. They cover Camden and Burlington counties and dispatchers at a centralized location keep track of the ever-changing map.

"The predictive model changes every ten minutes," said Kasper.

And with it comes a shuffling of sorts between available units. It's all in an effort to reduce response times.

"Just a few weeks ago we had an area that appeared to be purple on that screen, high predictive likelihood of a call," said Kasper. "Within moments of them being there a 911 call came in. They were able to respond to that call in less than two minutes."

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