Dubai’s turning drones into firefighters

By Adam Clark Estes For Gizmodo It makes perfect sense. Burning buildings are very dangerous places for people to enter, so when there’s a fire that needs to be put out, why not recruit robots to do the dirty work? That’s exactly what Dubai Civil Defense is doing this year. The emergency management organization just bought 15 quadcopters that it plans to use for patrolling high-risk areas like industrial zones for fires. In the event of a fire, Civil Defense plans to deploy the drones to inspect the scene so that they can assess how best to handle the situation. They’ll…

USFA: 2013 on-duty firefighter deaths jump to 5-year high

By Sarah Calams For FireRescue1 Last year saw the highest recorded number of on-duty firefighter deaths since 2008. According to preliminary statistics compiled by the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 101 on-duty firefighter fatalities last year. A full report is due out later this year. The administration first started collating the figures in 1977. A total of 83 firefighter fatalities were recorded in both 2012 and 2011, 87 deaths in 2010, 93 in 2009 and a total of 118 in 2008. This year’s total marks the first year of increase for on-duty deaths. Being caught or trapped was the leading…

Virtual reality brings new tool to firefighting

By Jim Drury For Reuters A head-mounted virtual reality system to be worn by fire-fighters could revolutionise fire safety, according to its developers at the Vienna University of Technology. The prototype ProFiTex system is designed to provide first-responders with an unprecedented view into the layout and temperature of burning buildings, giving them a better chance of saving lives. Its creators say this prototype helmet could revolutionise fire-fighting and help save the lives of people trapped inside burning buildings. Part of the ProFiTex system, it was designed by a team at the Vienna University of Technology, to help fire-fighters penetrate thick,…

Firefighter develops award winning mobile app

By Chris Arnold NBC News Firefighters across the country deal with the daily struggle of responding to the scene of a fire. For smaller or volunteer departments, that challenge is amplified. However, a fire captain in Hesston has found a way around this obstacle. Captain Stephen Owens and his partner, Carlos Fernandez Jr. developed a mobile app called Page-Out. The app took about a year and a half to develop and was launched in September. Owens says the app serves a practical purpose. “You can now know in a moments notice exactly who is available and who is not available,”…

New App Gives Firefighters Full-View at Fire Scenes

By Vince Lattanzio For NBC Philadelphia The Philadelphia Fire Department is beta-testing a new mobile application that gives crews vital information at a fire scene – information officials say can help save the lives of citizens and firefighters. The Geographic Information System, or GIS for short, gives fire commanders access to thousands of data points on an interactive, satellite map — using a iPad like tablet. “We know the size of the building, the dimensions, how many occupants (the building has the capacity to hold.) It lets us know how many resources we’re going to need to get those people…

Firefighter sues homeowner after responding to blaze, slipping on porch

By Weston Phippen For the Tampa Bay Times ST. PETERSBURG — The fire began about 5 a.m. on a Sunday in March. A man lit two burners to cook a meal, but fell asleep. He awoke in his house at 4056 18th Ave. S to the choking pain of smoke. The fire had spread from the kitchen to the attic, and by the time firefighters arrived, the man was running outside as flames consumed his home. South Pasadena fire Lt. Lawrence Wilson was on scene as part of mutual aid agreement with St. Petersburg. As they tried to put it…

Developing a research roadmap for the smart firefighter of the future

From a new report by the NFPA. The fire service and other emergency first responders are currently benefiting from enhanced-existing and newly-developed electronic technologies. Fire fighters are now operating in an ever increasing sensor rich environment that is creating vast amounts of potentially useful data. The “smart” fire fighter of tomorrow is envisioned as being able to fully exploit select data to perform work tasks in a highly effective and efficient manner.

Leatherhead Thursday: What makes you successful in your career?

By J.R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors This is a question that really has endless possibilities, but one that many have never thought of.  I have often heard folks say that they want to be a chief, captain, or other ranking officer within their career; they think that this is what makes you successful.  People have often said that the more fires they fight, the more successful they will be.  Do you have to save a life to be successful?  Do you need to make it through your career without any injuries or damaging a piece of equipment to be…

RIT – facepiece changeovers

By Mark van der Feyst For Firefighting In Canada One of the most integral parts of the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is the facepiece. It protects the firefighter from inhaling the superheated air that is in the environment, and it protects the firefighter from debris coming into contact with his face. The SCBA facepiece is designed and tested to withstand harsh environments in hot and cold temperatures. With the new NFPA standards, the facepiece is required to withstand a set temperature over a period of time. When the facepiece fails, it produces catastrophic results for the firefighter. This involves not…

The Connection Between Physical and Financial Health in the Fire Department

By Scott D. Kerwood For FireRescue Every year, fireground injuries account for more than 50% of the total occupational injuries suffered by the American fire service. Whether fires, hazardous materials, rescues or medical emergencies, the firefighter’s occupational workplace is ripe with danger. Many of these injuries are the result of a hostile work environment that no other occupation or vocation is exposed to at work. However, most all of these injuries are preventable if an effective fireground injury program is in place. People Are the Priority Our personnel are our most valuable resource. We can’t do what we do on…