New Technology Presented at Expo

It's pretty well known that people in the emergency services like stuff -- especially new stuff. And, it looks like there's some cool new stuff in the pipeline for gadget folks. What would you think about a handheld device that can help make triage...


"The gel alters the way the brain interprets the smell," Gaull said. "It makes you think it's vanilla." He commented that the price is $15 for 10 single application packets.

"That's a buck fifty each," he said. "And with some of the smells I've smelled, they can have my buck fifty," he said. "In fact they can have my three bucks per tube."

Flat-Pack SCBA

Gaull also spoke of the so called flat-pack for firefighter SCBA. It weighs eight pounds and is about three-inches thick. The reduction in weight and size is huge and can only make the firefighter safer.

The flat-pack is going through some rigorous testing and is awaiting Department of Transportation approval and should be ready for field testing next year, Gaull said.

Fire Compass

And then there are simple products like the Fire Compass, a device designed to keep firefighters oriented to their means of exit.

Transport Ventilator

A product designed for the military called Monitoring Oxygen Ventilation & External Suction system, or MOVES, is also a new product according to Gaull, who said it is being used by the Marine Corp to efficiently move several wounded troops at a time.

It continuously monitors patients who are intubated and ventilates them as well, automatically. The battery-operated device is well suited for helicopter evacuation, patient air transport and other long distance transport, Gaull said.

Remote Sensor Nodes

Gaull also talked about a product called Tera Hop, small transmitter devices called remote sensor nodes. A device, which is about the size of a deck of cards, will transmit and receive all different kinds of signals like Blue Tooth, 802.11 and others.

The nodes were designed for the cargo train industry because it would allow the engineers to quickly learn whether box cars and items in them had been opened and tampered with, or had simply shifted and broken open. Firefighters can use the same information when making decisions on how to approach scenes, Gaull said.

The nodes also have applications for triage patients as responders can give the nodes to the patients and the incident commander can then tell exactly where the patients are and what their priority for care is: green, yellow, red.

It could also provide commanders with real time information concerning the patient's whereabouts, as it could transmit a signal indicating the patient had been taken to the hospital, or was in stage, or still in the field.

"Think about what a mess it would be to try to handle a hundred patients in a train wreck with paper and pencil," Gaull said.

Mapping

Gaull also discussed a new mapping system that uses smart phones that can transmit videos from scenes and then be overlaid on maps developed through satellites and available online. That information will give the responders real time information to send back to the incident commander, who will then be able to tell exactly what they are facing as they are making their plans for a response.

Simulation Gaming

And, last but not least, a simulated environment game, called "Zero Hour" is available as a single player training system. It was developed by George Washington University under a cooperative agreement with the Department of Homeland Security.

"This software can take us to the next level," Gaull said, noting that it operates like the first-person player game called "Halo."

"It works, it's fun and it gives the user five different scenarios," Gaull said. "There are a bunch of different scenarios that simulate emergency environments." He said players can choose treatment modalities, like using tourniquets, pressure dressings, or dozens of different treatments for different wounds or medical emergencies.

"The patient responds appropriately to different treatment modalities," Gaull said, noting that as the game is updated and converted to a multi-player game, it could become a powerful training tool. Students from all over the country could link together and assume different roles in the scenario and work cooperatively with other agencies without having to fly all over the country to take advantage of the training.

"This is all out there and I would encourage all of you to go and check it out," Gaull said.