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  1. #1
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    Question Engineer Wanting To Help

    Hello,
    I am not a firefighter, however I am an engineer. I am considering research options and would like to hear from you guys. My specialization is in robotics. I would like to develop a device that would be helpful to firefighters and related personnel. I am looking to improve any procedure that costs you too much time to do manually or any activity that is too dangerous. Or even if you feel something that you use is ineffective and should be improved upon or augmented. I am looking to develop a solution that will be both low cost by design and easily repairable in the field.

    For example, in a letter from Vincent Dunn (former deputy chief of FDNY) to Tom RIdge he states:
    "5. The fire service needs robots for firefighting. One such robot would be used to attack fires in superheated atmospheres and in haz-mat burning incidents. Clamp a nozzle on the robot, start water and let it enter the flame and heat of an inaccessible burning structure. ... I have never seen a robot demonstrated in American fire department. The fire service needs this tool for fighting terrorism fires." - http://vincentdunn.com/ridge.html

    So if you ever said "Why doesn't someone make a __________?", I may be that someone.

    Thanks for your time


  2. #2
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Bump....Thanks for the offer. The place is full of us that like to complain and need something to work or function better.

    Can you fixed this website? Sometimes it wont let you start a new thread. Or have you heard of Mini-Me. Someone needs to tune-up that little weasel.

    Seriously- maybe you can focus somewhere in the area of seat belts. Firefighters (including myself) dont always wear them.

    Or....I got it. Hydraulic tool lines that do not leak. My Hurst tools leak all over the place. I know Halmatro has some newer type of lines out. That would be nice if someone could fix those.

    Or maybe go work at Interspiro SCBA corp. Their junk is broken all of the time and could use someone, anyone there.

    Or maybe introduce carbon fiber tools to the fire service. Make them stronger. Or bio-gradable wildland fire hose. So when it blows on me in the summer and I leave it behind, its Mother Earth friendly. I dont know.

    Or re-work the front of American LaChance's trucks. They are ugly as sin.

    Anyone else?
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 08-18-2006 at 01:56 AM.

  3. #3
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    How about a way to pick up large and repack large amounts of LDH quickly and safely without taking up a large amount of space or involving too much heavy lifting.

    Larry

  4. #4
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    "Or maybe introduce carbon fiber tools to the fire service. Make them stronger. Or bio-gradable wildland fire hose. So when it blows on me in the summer and I leave it behind, its Mother Earth friendly. I dont know."
    Good idea, ill forward it to my material science colleagues.

    As for the HDL, what makes it heavy? The actual weight of the hose or the fact the the hose has water left in it.

    How about a heavy duty "mule" robot that can carry/pull things and that is modular so you can add tools and functions to it? For example, you could attach an end of a hose to it and it would pull it off the truck.

    Keep your ideas coming.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Nordy1's Avatar
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    We already have mules, they are called probies.
    Do not equate money with success. There are many successful moneymakers who are miserable failures as human beings.
    What counts most about success is how a person achieves it.


    Nordy

  6. #6
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Speaking of "the mule", I think Pierce came out with a hose bed the lowers itself to the crew level for LDH re-packing.

  7. #7
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    Ok, lets try this.
    What manual task takes you the most time to complete?
    What task is most dangerous to you?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoeBlade
    Ok, lets try this.
    What manual task takes you the most time to complete?
    What task is most dangerous to you?
    Meetings.
    Responding lights and sirens.

    If you could invent a machine to eliminate meetings, I would pay you lots of money!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoeBlade
    Ok, lets try this.
    What manual task takes you the most time to complete?
    What task is most dangerous to you?
    Fundraising and grant writing?

    Robo that grills/serves hotdogs, empties trashcans, and swats flies at the same time.

  10. #10
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    shoeBlade-

    Sir- I was eating my gourmet burrito today seriously thinking about your offer. I have an idea for you thats a serious issue with most of our nation's Firefighters and I am pretty sure no one is addressing it right now.

    The problem- During wildland fires, the fire engine's (type 1,2,3) motors are usually left running and pumping water while parked. (a typical operation) While this is happening, the environment contents include flying embers and smoke pushed by gusting winds from 20-60 mph. Both of which get sucked in the truck's air filter/intake. Because of this, the plastic intake catches fire, then the motor, engine compartment and the the entire rig. And then it becomes a safety problem because the Firefighters can not leave a dangerous scene or take refuge in the truck.

    If you really want to make/invent/engineer something that most of the fire service can use, please consider an add-on/retofit device that would some how prevent this from happening.

    No need for robots or flying nozzles, this is a real problem that someone realy needs to jump on and make a difference.

    And if you get rich off of it, DO NOT forget brother Bou. Because it was his idea. Please email me or PM if you want to discuss this furthur.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 08-18-2006 at 06:42 PM.

  11. #11
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    Did a little research and it appears such a system has been developed
    "The simulator evaluation resulted in the development and implementation of
    a vehicle crew protection system that consists of:
    • Water sprays;
    • Radiant heat curtains;
    • Metal protection panels; and
    • Engine metal air intake pre-cleaners." - http://www.iawfonline.org/summit/200...%20et%20al.pdf
    Looks like it was developed sometime last year

    Just as a note, If you post any idea it then becomes "prior art" and is therefore un-patentable by me or anyone else in the future. I don't have a monetary motivation, just want to do research to help those who risk their lives. Furthermore you will receive proper credit in my research and in any publications.

    Hopefully this thread goes further so I can collect ideas and decide which one I can do most effectively and has the most benefit. I really appreciate the ideas so far.

  12. #12
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    One note,
    I did not pay for a membership so I cant PM anyone or edit my posts.
    You can reach me at my user name @gmail.com

  13. #13
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoeBlade
    One note,
    I did not pay for a membership so I cant PM anyone or edit my posts.
    You can reach me at my user name @gmail.com
    I'm a free user and I can PM & edit posts. However, you are still showing up as a guest. I'm guessing that once your ticket is punched by the WebTeam as a "real member," you'll have access to those features.

  14. #14
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    Im reading through the homeland security report on firefighter fatalities (http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pd...fa-306-508.pdf) And have some questions. Most were unpreventable involving heart attacks or stress (62 of 115 deaths - 53%) and crashes (25 of 115 deaths - 22%) mostly, but the following seemed preventable:


    "• In January, two New York City firefighters died
    when they were trapped by rapid fire progress
    in a structure fire. Six firefighters were forced
    to jump from a fifth-story window because the
    apartment where they were trapped did not
    have a fire escape."

    Do firefighters carry any type of egress system, be it rappelling rope or otherwise?


    " − A California firefighter was electrocuted
    when he came into contact with an
    energized wire at a residential structure fire."

    Does this occur often (be it nonfatal)?

  15. #15
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoeBlade
    Did a little research and it appears such a system has been developed
    "The simulator evaluation resulted in the development and implementation of
    a vehicle crew protection system that consists of:
    • Water sprays;
    • Radiant heat curtains;
    • Metal protection panels; and
    • Engine metal air intake pre-cleaners." - http://www.iawfonline.org/summit/200...%20et%20al.pdf
    Looks like it was developed sometime last year
    Hmmm...To me, it looks like it was only discussed briefly. I dont think anyone has tackled the project yet. Hope you can look at it more and maybe move o it....Bou

  16. #16
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    Not so sure about robotics but I have a couple of ideas....

    Like Bou said, make or invent a user friendly seat belt. We have to put on our SCBA's while enroute to a call. This makes wearing a seatbelt very difficult. Most firefigthers don't wear their seat belt because it gets tangled up in the straps of the SCBA. I have either not put the SCBA on until I arrive or put it on enroute, and hope that I did not cross the seatbelt with the bottom SCBA strap, or just not hook up the bottom SCBA strap until I get out of the truck.

    I am a firm believer in seatbelts. It is hard to convince a truck load of firefighters to wear them because of a not so user friendly design. Half of the deaths have occured either to or from a call while in the truck.

    How about improve on the existing SCBA designs. I can't believe that they are perfect and cannot be improved upon.

    Improve on thermal imaging cameras and technology. Make them smaller, lighter, and clearer. Make the new and improved gas detector. Maybe even strap a hose to a robot with a TIC and see what kind of fire they can put out. That could come in handy at fuel spill fires or large warehouses/factories where the there is a great amount of heat coming from the fire. Something like a robotic fire attack or something.

    Use your knowledge to improve communications. One of the biggest headaches is when your radio doesn't work due to the battery dying, you can't reach the repeater or just can't get out of the building with all the steel and concrete. If you invent the longer lasting radio battery, you would make millions.

    Lighter, stronger tools, fittings that don't leak and that go together and come apart easier, turn out gear with internal cooling, helmets that are more comfortable, boots that won't leak, hose that will pick itself up!

    That should be enough to overwhelm you....
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  17. #17
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    How about:

    -adding some sort of lighted strand into hoseline without adding any additional size and/or weight.

    -some sort of integrated monitor that keeps tabs on your heart/pulse/resp while involved in fighting fires.

    -a super tough chain saw "blade" that never dulls, chips, or loses any teeth.

    the key is to come up with something that is lightweight, cheap, and tough enough to be run over by a truck without skipping a beat.

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    How about a SCBA mask that allows one to monitor their breathing rate, heart rate, Pulse Ox. and amount of air left along with a thermal imager that you can switch one and off. That way, you dont have to tie up your hands with a bunch of equipment.

    Some might be say... well that would be a big mask. But think of the new Scott SCBA regulators where they have the red, yellow, and green to show you how much air you have left. If you enlarged the size of the regulator exterior, you could fit those numbers into it. The only problem would be turning your Mask into a thermal imager.

  19. #19
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    You are all thinking after the fire has started.

    How about better building materials that prevent fires?
    Better/smaller/less expensive/easier to retrofit sprinkler systems to prevent the fires from growing?
    How about better alarming systems to notify of a fire before we need all these other gizmo's?

    Work on ways to prevent the fires and the gizmo's for fighting them won't need to be so difficult.


    and I know, not all fires can be prevented, but a vast majority could be taken care of with better prevention.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    and I know, not all fires can be prevented, but a vast majority could be taken care of with better prevention.
    AMEN. There are many, many products out there but you need the people to buy them and use them properly. Case in point -- smoke detectors. Cheapest thing out there and yet people still die each year because they took the batteries out or they just don't have one at all.
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
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