Editor's Dispatch

IoT And Greater Computing Power Drive Fire Systems In Smart Cities

Hundreds of sensors and devices operating across an entire city – all connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) – combine to provide useful and actionable information for a variety of functions – including public safety and fire protection. Even as IoT sensors and devices monitor buildings to provide vital information, computer systems transform sensor data into intelligence. Communication advances are ensuring that intelligence is shared when and how it is needed. The Nation...

Homeless Encampments Encompass Both Common And Unique Fire Hazards

There are more than half a million homeless people in the United States, including many who deal with mental illness, drug addiction, and other problems. At homeless shelters where some of them are housed, attention to fire prevention may take a back seat to other concerns, such as adding capacity. More troubling are fire hazards at makeshift housing sites and homeless camps. Fire calls to homeless encampments run the gamut, including many of the same types of emergencies as other calls. Becaus...

DroneResponders: Promoting Use Of Drones For Public Safety, Including Fire

Drone usage by public safety agencies is at its highest level to date, with nearly 4,000 agencies now having drones or drone programs. Leading the implementation of drones in law enforcement with 42%, followed by fire service at 37%, emergency management with 12%, and the remainder by other categories such as search-and-rescue and EMS. Some of the primary fire missions for drones are structural fires, wildfires, hazmat responses, fire forensic investigations, swift water rescues, floods, torna...

Firefighters Face Additional Challenges In Temperature Extremes

The extremely cold winter this year is a reminder of the need for firefighters to be prepared and trained to fight fires in extreme conditions. Extreme environments tend to elevate the hazards of firefighting, which already include trauma, thermal injury, and smoke inhalation. The additional hazards range from minor inconveniences to extreme danger. One element that increases risk during the depths of winter is the increased incidence of fires caused by the additional use of (possibly hazardous...

Redeploying A Firefighting Robot To Spray Disinfectant And Fight COVID-19

The Thermite RS3, manufactured by Howe & Howe Technologies, is a wide-chassis, industrial firefighting robot that is remotely operated using a belly-pack controller to provide high-definition video feedback for easy maneuverability, even in difficult conditions. The Los Angeles City Fire Department was the first to buy the bright yellow firefighting vehicle, as announced last fall. Thermite RS3 robot Decon7 Systems has teamed with Howe & Howe Technologies to pioneer the delivery of D7...

Incarcerated Firefighters On The Front Lines During Wildfire Season

Prisoners have played a role in firefighting since 1915 when the first “Conservation Camps” trained incarcerated firefighters with the backing of the Department of Forestry. Especially in the realm of fighting wildfires, incarcerated individuals have in recent years provided low-cost labor amid the dangerous environment of a spreading wildfire.  The numbers of incarcerated persons in the United States expanded threefold during the “War on Crime,” which increased the...

Lithium-Ion Battery Fires In Electric Vehicles Pose Danger To First Responders

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is seeking to address fire dangers from electric vehicles that use high-voltage lithium-ion batteries. At risk are first responders who may be injured by electric shock or uncontrolled increases in temperature and pressure that can reignite the batteries. The risk of shock and fire arises from the ‘stranded’ energy that remains in a damaged battery, says the NTSB. A safety report from the U.S. federal agency documents their investigati...

Federal Aviation Administration’s Approval Of Remote Drone Flights Expands Possibilities In Fire Sector

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved deployment of fully automated commercial drone flights, paving the way eventually for new and expanded uses of unmanned automated vehicles (UAVs) in a variety of applications - including the fire market. The approval is narrow in scope and applies to a single company - American Robotics Inc., which petitioned the change. Reese Mozer, the CEO and Founder of American Robotics, has predicted a $100 billion market to provide drone services...

Impact Of COVID-19 Pandemic On Fire Service Extending Into 2021 And Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the fire service will continue at least through 2021 and possibly for years to come. Specifically, several aspects of the pandemic have impacted the fire service long-term and have possibly changed it forever.  More awareness of Health Issues For one thing, the pandemic has heightened awareness about issues of health and wellness of firefighters. In this regard, COVID-19 has been just the latest in the series of health and wellness issues surroundin...

Pocketalk Provides Instant Translations In 82 Languages For First Responders

Translation in an emergency setting is a challenge that first responders face on a daily basis. For example, London Luton Airport’s Fire Service would previously have to find a member of staff or a passenger that could help them translate, which is not always possible. As a last resort, the service would carry around a large flipbook containing numerous medical questions in a multitude of languages, but this did not solve the problem of understanding any responses. AI-Powered Language Tr...

2020 Review: COVID-19’s Impact On The Fire Industry And Firefighting

COVID-19 dominated the headlines in 2020, and it had a profound impact on the fire industry. TheBigRedGuide.com published many articles about the pandemic and its impact, some of which were among the most-read articles of the year. This retrospective will highlight some of those pandemic-related articles, including links to the original content.  The Fire Industry Association (FIA) in the United Kingdom published a survey report on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The survey, conduc...

2020 Review: Technologies Shaping The Future Of The Fire Industry

Technology and innovation are shaping the future of the fire industry. During 2020, TheBigRedGuide.com published many articles touching on research, development, and new technologies. This roundup will review some of the most popular articles, including links to the original content. Thermal Imaging & Augmented Reality (AR) Combining thermal imaging and augmented reality (AR) enables firefighters to see through smoke, in effect enhancing their vision in the life-threatening environment of...

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