Controlling fire was one of the human race’s earliest technological achievements. Despite thousands of years of scientific advancements since that time, we’re still looking for new ways to rein in this elemental force. New innovations in firefighting equipment are being added to firefighters’ arsenals all the time. In addition to tools developed specifically for the industry, technologies created in other fields have been adapted to serve the needs of the men and women who rush into burning buildings to keep others out of harm’s way.
Combined with traditional, tried-and-true techniques, these firefighting innovations can increase the safety and effectiveness of these heroes’ efforts. From tech that monitors firefighters’ vital signs to robotic assistants that take to the air to provide support, firefighting is ready to incorporate any idea if it can help save lives. What follows is a list of the most significant new firefighting technology and software being used in the field today.
Mobile Communication Networks
Firefighters have always understood the value of communicating with their cohorts, no matter the circumstances. Instant communication could mean the difference between life and death in their line of work. As a result, smartphones and other Internet-connected devices have supplanted walkie-talkies because of the depth of features they offer, which can be fully customized to meet the needs of a firefighter on duty.
Firefighters have access to a wide range of specialized apps they can use while on a call, as well as during their off-hours. When actively battling a fire, this modern firefighting technology can be used to figure out appropriate pump pressure. EMTs can use an app to identify drugs quickly in order to avoid unwanted interactions when treating patients. When not on the job, personnel can track their diet and exercise habits to ensure they are meeting their personal and professional fitness goals.
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of smart devices is quick and clear communication among everyone in the department. Infrastructure across the country has been augmented to prioritize communications from first responders, so they always have the clearest reception and most accurate location tracking.
Having eyes in the sky means you can see things you may not have been able to see on the ground. This is especially important when surrounded by heavy smoke and chaos. Drones have become a critical tool for firefighters on the scene. These nimble and versatile machines can fulfill a number of functions, from reconnaissance to assisting with rescue operations.
Equipped with cameras, drones can be deployed at the scene of a fire or accident to assess the situation almost immediately. In instances where hazardous materials may be present, these devices enable crews to get a clear picture of the situation without exposing first responders to danger. With the visual information gathered from drones, emergency crews can make better rescue plans and be more effective overall.
Drones are also indispensable for search-and-rescue jobs. Not only are they capable of sweeping large spaces quickly and efficiently, but they also have the capability to carry food and critical supplies to areas that would be inaccessible to people. This can buy crews time to reach those in need without putting their own lives at risk.
Being able to see where they’re going is one of firefighters’ most pressing concerns when working inside a burning structure. Black smoke and walls of flame can transform even the most mundane space into a deadly maze. Fortunately, modern science makes it possible for responders to see more of their surroundings with the help of advanced imaging technology.
Thermal imaging cameras can be built into firefighting helmets, and the information can be projected directly onto the inside of the face shield. This creates an overlay of the building’s layout that gives the firefighter a better idea of where he or she needs to go. It can enable faster decision-making and help prevent crews from becoming disoriented. The convenient size of these cameras also means they can be operated hands-free.
It isn’t hard to see how the same technology that powers wearable fitness trackers can be a boon to firefighters. Monitoring a first responder’s vital signs remotely can be critical to ensure he or she remains safe and in a position to help others. Wearable devices can tell dispatchers and commanders if a firefighter is beginning to suffer exhaustion, dehydration or smoke inhalation before those risks can compromise his or her ability to do the job.
In addition to providing crucial information, these trackers can also help pinpoint where responders are at all times. Not only does this enhance the coordination of firefighters on the ground, but it also makes locating them much faster if they become trapped inside a building. Far more accurate and reliable than commercially available GPS devices, wearable technology can make rescues much faster and more effective.
New software platforms have sped up the process of dispatching emergency teams. With this technology, dispatchers can deliver critical information to crews with greater speed and accuracy. The software can be integrated with mobile apps to share plans, update responders about current conditions and provide optimized routes for drivers. This ultimately leads to faster response times and more lives saved.
Powerful and Lightweight PPV Fans
Finally, PPV fans are important for providing cleaner, cooler air and improved visibility to the firefighter’s jobsite. BlowHard has devoted years of hard work to making our fans as efficient and easy-to-use as possible. For example, we have developed some of the lightest, most compact fans on the market. This makes them easier to transport and set up, so they can provide the maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time. The power that our PPV fans are capable of generating means they can be depended upon to deliver the highest levels of efficiency and safety for first responders.
To learn more about our wide range of PPV fans and what they can do for you, get in touch with us today or browse our full inventory of products.