Fire Protection - Editor's Dispatch

5G Will Enable Fire Technologies And Communications Of The Future

When you think about the 21st-century innovations that will drive the future of the fire service, almost every new technology depends on faster and more dependable digital communication. In short, the future of technology in the fire service demands that we embrace 5G technology. 5G (fifth generation telecommunications) promises faster data speeds, less latency, and greater reliability. Increased connectivity and technologies From increasing connectivity to enabling wearable technologie...

PAMS Software Promotes Accountability Of Fire Service Responders

The fire service has always struggled with maintaining accurate accountability of personnel who are responding or operating in emergencies. Lack of firefighter accountability is often cited as a contributing factor in Line of Duty Deaths (LODD). Compounding the accountability challenge are volunteer responders who can be coming from anywhere, with some going to the station and others going direct. The existing accountability tools and processes were unreliable and failed when needed the most....

Thinning Forests To Prevent Wildfires Can Yield A Useful Byproduct: Biofuel

Thinning forests to prevent wildfires include the removal of diseased trees and other debris by private, state, and federal land managers. The byproduct of that thinning is called woody biomass. Removal of woody biomass from forests can help mitigate disastrous wildfires in fire-prone states like California. Reducing wildfire risk Some of the biomass material is left to decay, is burned in place, or is hauled to landfills. However, this byproduct of reducing wildfire risk can also be used to p...

Fires At Rental Storage Units Highlight Need For Sprinklers

Rental storage units represent a serious and unpredictable risk for firefighters. For example, hundreds of rented units at a three-story, self-storage warehouse in Manchester, United Kingdom, were recently destroyed by fire. Fire in rental storage units There were 125 firefighters and 25 fire engines called to the scene. There were no injuries, but hundreds of customers lost thousands of dollars in stored goods in the fire. Notably, the facility was not protected by a sprinkler system, which n...

In The Right Conditions, Rapidly Spreading Grass Fires Can Be Deadly

Last month, a fire raged across land in Swansea, in southern Wales, spreading 6 hectares (about 15 acres) and injuring a firefighter. Weeks earlier, flames raged across 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) in nearby Fairwood Common, Gower, in a fire that may have been deliberately set, and another 30 hectares (74 acres) of grassland and forest burned in Maesteg, Bridgend.  Almost 4,000 miles away in northwest Minnesota, crews battled a grass fire that briefly closed a highway in the area. Low hum...

Fire And EMS Departments Eligible For FEMA Reimbursement Of COVID-19 Costs

Fire and EMS departments are eligible for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) of their costs, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A streamlined project application process eases the burden of applying for the program, but support documentation is required. Tracking costs For COVID-19 recovery Many departments do not apply for the money because they perceive reporting requirements as too difficult, and record-keeping as too big a challenge. To help, the U.S. Fir...

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...

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...

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