3D Indoor Tracking and Location for Fire Fighters and Public Safety Responders
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Post Media Article: Man tracker: Researchers look to perfect ways to locate workers in tough spots
The Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG) in partnership with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and Toronto Fire Service (TFS) are hosting a one-day event in Toronto showcasing 3D Indoor Tracking and Location for Fire Fighters and Public Safety Responders. We are also very grateful for the support received from the Toronto Police Service in providing their members to help broaden the exercise into new areas of research. Finally, we would like to thank the Department of Homeland Security (US) Science and Technology Directorate for their leadership in researching and raising awareness about this issue over the past few years.
The first of its kind in Canada, this event will provide an opportunity for participants to witness firsthand the challenges and opportunities of this emerging technology through presentations, demos and a live exercise. While the primary focus of the event is to support ongoing research by Fire Services, responders from other disciplines such as Police, Paramedics, HUSAR Teams, Military and Emergency Management are also encouraged to register. There is no cost to attend, but registration is mandatory. Due to space limitations, registrations must first be approved. As well, priority will be given to CAFC member agencies.
UPDATE November 13, 2012:
We are proud to announce that we will also be showcasing wearable wireless physiology status monitoring that provides real-time situational awareness of responder health and safety and alerts command personnel to potentially dangerous situations in training and fireground operations. For more about the technology involved please go to: www.biopeak.com
SORRY, WE ARE NOW SOLD OUT FOR COMPANY PARTICIPATION IN THE 3D EXERCISE (you can still attend as observers). A small fee will be charged to participating companies to recoup event costs. Companies interested in participating in the demo and live exercise should use our Contact Form with the Subject: Participating in 3D Location and Tracking Event. As there are a limited number of industry opportunities available, priority will be given to companies who have already registered to exhibit/sponsor at the Sixth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop (CITIG 6) being held in Toronto from December 2 to 5. For details about that event please go, please visit our event listing.
Of note, results of the showcase will be shared during a special session at the Sixth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop.
- Fire Services and HUSAR/LUSAR Teams
- First-responder agencies (law enforcement, paramedics, emergency managers)
- Other public safety providers (federal, provincial, territorial, municipal)
- Academic and research institutions
- Welcome and introductions
- Setting the scene: overview of live exercise and baseline test
- Three to four technology demonstrations by industry partners (1.5 hours each)
- Concurrent presentations on product overviews, identified gaps and current research findings
- Closing/wrap up
Confirmed Industry Partners
CITIG, CAFC and TFS would like to thank the following participants:
- TRX Systems Inc., Web: www.trxsystems.com
- Honeywell Labs
- WITHDREW NOV 20TH 2012: SEER Technology / R. Nicholls
- WITHDREW NOV 25TH 2012: MSA
First responders, such as firefighters, often operate in extreme environments and may sometimes become disoriented (e.g., inside buildings) and disabled even in relatively small incidents. Many incidents (such as the events of 9/11 and the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire that killed six firefighters) have highlighted the need for an accountability system to accurately locate, track, monitor, and visualize the locations of responders on a geospatial map. This will allow incident commanders and tactical-decision makers to virtually observe personnel movements in real time to avoid loss of life.
Currently, global-positioning systems (GPS) are good in the open field. However, tracking personnel in three dimensions and inside complex buildings (where GPS signals are nonexistent) is difficult. Many radio-frequency (RF)-based systems rely on triangulation and time-difference-of-arrival techniques to compute positions. Other systems, many still in early development, use components such as inertial measurement units (IMUs) coupled with RF techniques to improve position accuracy. Others have experimented with existing (television, radio or satellite) signals. Many of these technologies are either still in development or not yet robust for field deployment. Lack of a suitable technology and the stringent requirements of the user community have made the problem even more complex, so that systems that provide adequate performance are heavy, cumbersome to use, and too expensive.
CITIG has been raising awareness about this issue for the past several years, and has been involved in facilitating research and Canadian participation in the annual Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking for Emergency Responders Technology Workshop at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The CAFC has also recognized the importance and potential of this emerging technology and has named 3D-tracking for firefighters as a priority. TFS, and in particular the work of resident expert Division Commander Andrew Kostiuk, has in many ways been leading the charge in Canada.
We hope you can join us in Toronto as we continue to shed light on an important safety issue for all responders.