The men and women who fight fires every day are always hoping for new advancements in technology that would make their work easier, and more importantly, safer than it is today. Here are five revolutionary technological advancements that are on the cutting edge of fire safety, and could help firefighters save lives.
1. Virtual reality
One of the most groundbreaking technological revolutions, virtual reality is positioned to make firefighters’ lives easier and safer by allowing them to train without actually having to fight a real fire.
“Virtual reality will give us the opportunity to immerse students into real incidents, allow them to see outcomes and develop critical thinking skills,” says Dan Wright, owner of Wright Public Safety Consulting and Training. “I believe it will disrupt the training model as we know it.”
So how does it work? Virtual reality can place a training firefighter into any scenario, complete with a 360-degree field of vision. That means training officials can surprise the firefighters with any kind of complication during their emergency scenario, including something coming up on them from behind. This will allow them to execute an infinite amount of training scenarios without having to spend the money to build multiple training locations. Plus, it allows firefighters to train safely.
With virtual reality, not only can firefighters enter virtual environments – they can use virtual tools like hoses and axes to douse flames, breach walls, ventilate a fire room or rescue people.
2. Portable ultrasound devices
Portable ultrasound devices, which are currently being tested in the field, are intended to help fire-based EMTs the ability to make better assessments in heart, lung and abdominal cases. The device allows them to feed better information back to their command center or a nearby hospital, giving doctors the opportunity to help them in the field.
When a fire unit arrives on the scene of a major fire, information obtained quickly by drones for the firefighting crews can not only help them quickly extinguish the flames but increase safety by showing areas too dangerous to enter.
Using a drone, a fire technician can hover over the scene, provide up to the second intel for firefighters on the ground and direct rescue personnel should someone be discovered inside actively dangerous areas.
Because drone technology is advancing rapidly, the cost to obtain a quality drone is no longer prohibitive for most departments. Most departments can afford the cost of the FAA required training and certification, so now that equipment is becoming affordable, look for the use of drones by fire departments to continue to increase.
4. Personnel location gear
These devices allow a technician in a mobile command center to track the exact location of every single firefighter deployed in an emergency. They become vital in the event a situation is occurring inside a building or some other structure prone to collapse. If the building falls, there is a good chance that the firefighters involved will become unconscious or otherwise incapable of communicating their position to their fellow firefighters.
5. Thermal imaging displays
A final advancement that is beginning to gain popularity is thermal imaging displays that are built directly into a firefighter’s helmet. The use of the helmet mounted thermal imaging allows the firefighters to keep both of their hands-free in all situations.
The team at KOVA Corp. is dedicated to technological advancement that keeps our firefighters safer and in contact, reliable communication. To find out how KOVA is working to stay on the cutting edge of today’s technology, like our KEANS system, contact your KOVA representative today!