Firefighters are the unsung heroes of our society. They put their lives on the line every day to help protect us from harm. To do their job as effectively as possible, firefighters need access to the best technology available. This blog post will discuss five new technologies that helping firefighters save lives!
The firefighter profession is continually being transformed by new technologies that make the job safer and more accessible. Firefighters have been using technology since they were first employed to put out fires in significant cities. Today, various departments across the country are using technology in different ways to respond faster, improve communication within the department, eliminate operator error while driving fire trucks, keep firefighters safe during emergency responses and reduce costs.
Firefighters are known for their bravery in burning buildings or rescuing people from dangerous circumstances. But many brave men and women also risk getting injured on long shifts answering calls at all hours of the day. New technology is changing that fact by helping firefighters stay safer when they’re not actively fighting a fire. Imagine how many lives could be saved if firefighters had complete camera control of their surroundings. With camera glasses, they will have complete camera control and even thermal camera capabilities to see through smoke or flames.
New Technology For Firefighters
So there are five new technologies that are making firefighters’ jobs safer, easier, and more efficient.
1) Firefighter helmets with visors to block heat
Helmets worn by firefighters may look like they protect their heads from falling debris, but they also keep them safe from a fire’s heat and flying embers. The newest firefighter helmets on the market have visors that can withstand intense heat. These new visor helmets were created during a partnership between Milwaukee-based helmet maker Guardian and Scott Safety, a respiratory protection equipment company.
Engineers at both companies worked together to create an accessory for firefighters that would work across all Guardian helmets and won’t interfere with communication devices already in place on some models. The first version is called the Visor Accessory Kit, or VAK, which is made of lightweight aluminium that attaches to the front of a standard firefighter helmet. The visors can withstand temperatures up to 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit and are available in 11 colours.
2) Assistive technology for firefighters who are deaf or hard-of-hearing
Firefighters who are on calls often have their hands totally fighting fires. They need every pair of hands on deck available during emergencies. Deaf and hard-of-hearing firefighters face new challenges when communicating on the scene during emergency responses due to all the loud noise from hoses, fire trucks, sirens, and other equipment working together at once.
However, assistive technology is helping firefighters communicate on the scene without using their voices. For example, the iFire Mobile app allows users with hearing loss to capture visual cues from firefighters as they speak and then send those messages as text messages or as voice-to-text translated messages. Firefighters can also download the app on their smartphones during emergencies.
3) Wearable technology that senses dangerous gasses
Firefighters need to quickly detect what types of gases are present at a fire and how much of them are present to respond more safely, yet this isn’t always easy because there’s no safety equipment currently available that offers reliable real-time gas sensing for firefighters. However, sensors may soon end up saving lives.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina, working with funding from the National Science Foundation and several other federal agencies, have created a prototype sensor that can detect common gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. The gas detector is about the size of a penny and attaches to clothing like a patch. It takes readings every four seconds and works even if wet or dirty – ideal for firefighters who need to work in less-than-perfect conditions.
4) Mobile fire trucks that save time and money
Fire departments across the country are looking for ways to improve their response times because this affects whether they can put out fires before they turn deadly. Dispatch centres nationwide are doing this by sending smaller fire engines called “quint trucks” to calls that don’t require a full-sized fire truck.
These smaller trucks can cut response times by almost 30 per cent and have been in development for nearly a decade in the United Kingdom, where they’re called “civilian firefighting units.” In 2014, a quint truck rolled out in Orlando, Florida, which became the first U.S. city with one on its payroll. This smaller truck has less equipment than a regular fire engine but still carries lifesaving gear such as an oxygen tank and masks when there’s no working building ventilation available at a site.
5) Headlights that show firefighters the way
Firefighters need to see to do their jobs effectively and safely, but navigating dark hallways in a burning building is difficult. That’s why researchers are developing head-mounted displays that help firefighters see through smoke.
A firefighter wearing the device could point it at his or her surroundings and get real-time information about the layout of the building being searched due to built-in sensors that wirelessly detect what is around them. The goal is for this technology to show firefighters their current location and provide directions when needed so they can easily navigate structures even in pitch blackness.
Firefighters are professionals who risk their lives to save others in their hour of need. We all know that technology is an integral part of our lives, and it is an integral part of every profession. The firefighter profession has not been left out in the application of technology; there are several ways in which technology makes work easier for them, even though they are risking their lives to save others. Here are a few examples of new technologies being applied by firefighters.