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Noise reduction system slated for firetrucks


Noise Cancellation Technologies Inc. has found a new marke for its electronic sound reduction system: wailing and screaming firetrucks and ambulances.

NCT said yesterday that it reached an agreement with the Federal Signal Corp., the nation's largest maker of emergency vehicles, sirens and other equipment for police, fire and emergency vehicles, to market and distribute its noise reduction equipment.

The agreement, expected to result in $30 million in business for NCT over the next five years, includes the sale of headsets to eliminate about 70 percent of the siren noise inside emergency vehicles.

Based in Stamford, Conn., NCT has its research and development center in Linthicum.

Irene Lebovics, senior vice president of NCT, called the agreement with Federal's signal division one of the first major production orders for the young technology company's products. The company also makes headsets to eliminate the noise of magnetic resonance imaging scanners, or MRIs.

Federal Signal, with sales of $518 million last year, is based in Oak Brook, Ill.

Jerry Williams, a marketing manager with Federal, said the company would offer the NCT system as an option on new firetrucks and ambulances. He said it would also be available for installation on vehicles already in service.

He said the order with NCT also includes equipment that would (( screen out the siren noise from radio communication between an emergency vehicle and headquarters.

The equipment will be produced in Tokyo as part of a joint venture between NCT and Foster Electric Co., a producer of speakers and audio equipment.

The noise reduction system is being tested in three ambulances in Anne Arundel County. "So far, we have been very, very pleased with the results," said a fire department spokesman.

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