1. #1
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    Question Equipment to find lost firefighters

    I was watching a show about avalanches last week and a thought has been running around in my head. I wonder if there is a way to adapt the portable device that skiers are using to the fire serice. The show talked about a device that skiers wear that helps the rescuers find them by radio waves or a tick tracer. After a avalanche, the rescuers track the approx. location like GPS and triangulate in on the signal. If this device was incorporated into the SCBA harness then all firefighters could be located quicker during any accident. If this was in place in NY, maybe they could of found all of those brothers this week faster that were grouped together. This would also help in large brush fires, wilderness search and rescue and water rescue. All of these incidents spread out everyone and make it possible to get lost. At the very least these devices would narrow down the search area.
    "Fire Prevention is our Intention"

  2. #2
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    While I did not see the show that you are referring to, I agree. This would really be the cat's meow as far as Accountability. Could you imagine the Fire Service using something this high tech? I'm totally speculating here but it almost sounds that this type of system would probably work no matter who you bought your system from. In other words ABC Dept. would be able to go into XYZ's area and help out with an emergancy and both Dept's. would be able to track each others FF's with no problem. I think I've have seen some type of a proposel for this on TV. It could also be transmitted to an onsite screen and the Command post could actually have an idea where his crews are at almost any given time. But it is along way off, since you wouldn't be able to see floorplans of structure's. Out in the wide open spaces ie. brush fires and canyons it might be easier. Only time, money and tons of refining will make it a reality.

  3. #3
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    RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    Why? It's not like you're going to visit me! But I'm near Waco, Texas
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    FEMA has a book you can get free from their site regarding personnel accountability systems. In the book there are numerous systems being developed and tested. The main reason they are not more widespread is cost. One system that I kinda liked was one that tracked firefighters by them walking. The boots had a device that kept tracked of them when they walked and would alarm if they stayed still for too long. I do believe they are working on a system liked you described, it's just a matter of time. The only problem I see with that system is unlike an avalache where there is one signal or just a few, a fireground system would have several dozen signals and that could be confusing to a GPS computer I believe. It's just a matter of time for technology to catch up to be a benefit for accountablility.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

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