New Zealand’s frontline responders in the South Island have installed a unique and innovative ice-warning device, to help minimise the dangers of black ice faced by firefighters, police and the defence, before emergency call-outs.

The New Zealand Fire Service’s interest in the product came as a result of a donation of several ice-detecting pavement markers to a local station by the device manufacturer, SolarBright Limited, after a member of their staff had to call on emergency services late one night.

The SolarBright team donated and installed its ‘PATeye’ at the ice-prone station as a small token of appreciation and as a way of helping the community-based fire crews avoid slips and falls caused by black ice.

The PATeye is a self-contained solar-powered reflective marker and warning system that is triggered when ground temperature and moisture levels indicate the very high likelihood of ice formation, illuminating the road/pavement and drawing attention to hidden patches of ‘black ice’.

Once triggered the onboard LEDs flash blue and provide an active, real-time warning alerting to the high probability of surface ice. PATeye is ideal for walkways, steps, paving areas, car parks and general access areas in and around any premises, wherever ice may be present.

In addition to providing an active warning to personnel on foot, the flashing PATeye also serves as an indication of the road conditions that drivers are likely to find on the roads on leaving the station, thereby further enhancing the safety of both fire crews and the public.

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