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    Hello,

    I am a student and I have a project to design something that will help locate firefighters in disaster situations. I知 wondering what sort of locating devices you carry/use, how you carry them, and what you like/dislike about them. I知 also looking for any other input about what you might like to see in a locating device or concerns you may have. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Thank you!

    Alex

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    Google P.A.S.S. Device....
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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    Scott sells a radio beacon tied into the PASS alarm. They sell it under the brand name Paktracker

    What isn't out there is a similar type product for wildland firefighters.

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    Almost every structural firefighter uses a PASS or similar. There are some options out there that use GPS to locate a FF, but the problem they have is sat reception inside a building. There are some others out there with different technology, but many of them are so new they are still quite pricey. Some even monitor vitals and report that back to the IC.

    Whatever you work on, make it small and lightweight and firefighter proof. It should turn on automatically and probably needs to be incorporated (or replace) the existing PASS in order to be desired. Long battery life (at least 6-8 hours actively running) and months in standby. Also, it should do what it can to not snag on any wires or anything else.

    Good luck with your project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kd7fds View Post
    Scott sells a radio beacon tied into the PASS alarm. They sell it under the brand name Paktracker

    What isn't out there is a similar type product for wildland firefighters.
    Ya there is its Called S.A.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex120 View Post
    Hello,

    I am a student and I have a project to design something that will help locate firefighters in disaster situations. I知 wondering what sort of locating devices you carry/use, how you carry them, and what you like/dislike about them. I知 also looking for any other input about what you might like to see in a locating device or concerns you may have. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Thank you!

    Alex
    Is this High School or College???

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    Thank you all for responding!! All of this is very helpful.

    In response to Scarecrow, this is a college project.

    Have any of you had issues with the PASS device?


    Thanks again!
    Alex

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex120 View Post
    Thank you all for responding!! All of this is very helpful.

    In response to Scarecrow, this is a college project.

    Have any of you had issues with the PASS device?


    Thanks again!
    Alex
    Figure out how to Keep the Sound From Decreasing In Periods of High Heat. Really Spark up a debate and tell some of the Old Guys here you want to Integrate GPS into them..
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex120 View Post
    Thank you all for responding!! All of this is very helpful.

    In response to Scarecrow, this is a college project.

    Have any of you had issues with the PASS device?


    Thanks again!
    Alex
    The PASS device is a rudimentary device that emits an audible signal and there is a flashing light that is only triggered after a period of non motion. I beleive the time is 30 or 45 seconds. So a fire fighter must be down for that amount of time before the alarm goes off. Secondly, it doesn't give much of an indication as to actual location. Many a time there will be multiple PASS alarms going off simply because they were left on.

    Typically, (at least in this area) that PASS alarms are on the air packs, so if you aren't packed up then you have no alarm.

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    Scarecrow has some of his facts wrong again.

    Alex, PASS devices go off after 20 seconds when there is no motion from the firefighter wearing the unit.

    Locating the downed firefighter by the PASS inside of a building can be difficult, especially if there is a lot of noise on the fireground.

    False alarms from PASS devices are a training issue 99% of the time.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    So a fire fighter must be down for that amount of time before the alarm goes off.
    The device can be activated manually in the event a fire fighter recognizes he\she is in trouble.


    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Secondly, it doesn't give much of an indication as to actual location.
    It was never designed to replace good search techniques. It was designed to alert others to an event that could be responded to in a timely manor.
    It is a supplement not a replacement crew or command accountability.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Many a time there will be multiple PASS alarms going off simply because they were left on.

    Typically, (at least in this area) that PASS alarms are on the air packs, so if you aren't packed up then you have no alarm.
    I guess we found one area you are not 100%. You have not addressed the lack of responsibility of your subordinates to secure their SCBA when they go off air? I am shocked at this lack of leadership.
    Please report to your office and write yourself up. So sad.

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    Alex, the problem of developing a tracking system for persons in a hostile environment (firefighters, cops, military, etc.) is a good one. One of the issues with a GPS-based system is it is only two axis. In other words, I can tell if a firefighter is down and is located 35 feet from the North wall and 18 feet from the West wall. What I can't determine is if he is on the 43rd floor, the 6th floor or in the basement. Some companies are currently working with RF tracking, geospatial, and other propeller-head type stuff. Right now, about the best the fire service has is the PASS unit and it has severe limitations.

    If you can design a reliable, economical 3-dimensional tracking system for personnel in hostile environments, you my friend, will die a very rich man. No one has been able to do it yet. Good luck on your project.

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    don't know how applicable this is, but we recently got installed, statewide vehicle locator beacons (Praxsoft), in every dozer , brush truck and supervisor's vehicle (works over our radio system, sends out a location pulse every 30 seconds or so)all the supervisors have Dell ruggedized laptops with the software (ArcGIS Explorer) so that on a large incident they can (in theory) see our position and be able to advise us of hazards or obstacles, as well potential safe zones
    "If you can't be a good example, the you'll just have to be a terrible warning."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Scarecrow has some of his facts wrong again.

    Alex, PASS devices go off after 20 seconds when there is no motion from the firefighter wearing the unit.

    Locating the downed firefighter by the PASS inside of a building can be difficult, especially if there is a lot of noise on the fireground.

    False alarms from PASS devices are a training issue 99% of the time.
    Captain is correct, most manufactures set at 20 seconds for pre-alarm and 30 for full. NFPA allows 30 seconds +5/-0 of no motion for full alarm, pre-alarm 10 +3/-0 prior to full alarm. Anyone who tosses their SCBA down and leaves their PASS going off needs an adjustment, if you know what I mean. Untill technology improves, it's bettery than without.

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    Rangerjake,at the risk of being an a**,accurate to how many feet? The issue I have with GPS is that most of the stuff available to US isn't all that accurate.Fine for mapping a fire area but to find a downed FF ib debris? Not so good. Plus they don't work well in buildings. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firedesign View Post
    Captain is correct, most manufactures set at 20 seconds for pre-alarm and 30 for full. NFPA allows 30 seconds +5/-0 of no motion for full alarm, pre-alarm 10 +3/-0 prior to full alarm. Anyone who tosses their SCBA down and leaves their PASS going off needs an adjustment, if you know what I mean. Untill technology improves, it's bettery than without.
    When we train students on Scba we allow a little lattitude the first two nights to allow the students to get used to pre alerat and Pass control. After that as they are practicing in the smoke house a RIT team is standing by. If the Pass goes off and they don't "control"it with action and proper communication,they are EXTRACTED. Usually onlt takes one or two people and they "GET IT" Real Quick. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Scarecrow has some of his facts wrong again.

    Alex, PASS devices go off after 20 seconds when there is no motion from the firefighter wearing the unit.

    Locating the downed firefighter by the PASS inside of a building can be difficult, especially if there is a lot of noise on the fireground.

    False alarms from PASS devices are a training issue 99% of the time.
    Man, it sure seems like it is longer...... And yes, the false alarms are a training issue for sure. Seems like there ought to be a better "mousetrap" in this case.

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    Almost makes one think that we could use an alternative to the GPS system but the same techniques. Imagine setting up 3 or 4 beacons around the perimeter that communicated with a device on the fire fighter. It would require using signals in the proper radio spectrum. You could even put digital data on the carrier frequency. Perhaps a device that doesn't use satellite signals but uses a starting point and tracks the movements. That is it the device would determine which direction a person is going all by itself. Knowing the start point one could easily find the new point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhacker View Post
    Ya there is its Called S.A.
    Amen.

    Although it is a component of SA, "accountability" needs to be mentioned as well. We can "what if" SA and accountability until the cows come home but catastrophic events, i.e. collapses, explosions, and etc. don't kill or injure firefighters as much as "getting lost and not knowing where you are" does. Most of the time, this occurs in a "regular" house fire and not in a block-long warehouse or 100-story highrise.

    PASS devices are good but not as good as good ole' SA and accountability (up and down the chain of command).
    rjtoc2

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    Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, and make counter accusations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Rangerjake,at the risk of being an a**,accurate to how many feet? The issue I have with GPS is that most of the stuff available to US isn't all that accurate.Fine for mapping a fire area but to find a downed FF ib debris? Not so good. Plus they don't work well in buildings. T.C.
    I am not Familiar with His system but If it is Like AFF It is only as good as 1 satellite Reception 2. WASS Availability That Day. Depending on what grade of a GPS unit you Purchase you can get them down to within 1 to 1/4 of a inch. I do believe SCOTT is already working on a system as we speak that uses Transmitters. It was at FDIC here a few years Back.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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