Boston Globe: High Tech Firefighter Rescue Systems Show Promise

The Boston Globe has a great article on Q-Track’s successful firefighter rescue demonstration at WPI earlier this month:

WORCESTER — The blinded, disoriented firefighters who crawled up the stairs of a century-old brick building here recently had to find a missing colleague, and find him fast. Their only hope was a battery-powered homing beacon worn by the lost firefighter. Fortunately, the gadget worked, leading the rescuers directly to him. Immediately, all three of them sat up, stripped off their oxygen masks — and their blindfolds — and took deep breaths of fresh, smoke-free air. Then they ran the exercise all over again.

Describing Q-Track’s system:

The third device, from Q-Track Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., sends a short-range AM radio signal. But instead of using traditional triangulation, the Q-Track receiver compares the incoming radio signal and its accompanying magnetic field to figure out the source of the transmission. The device located the firefighter in seven minutes.

The article, by staff writer Hiawatha Bray, does a good job explaining some of the alternate systems. Previously on ÆtherCzar:

Also, a conference paper preprint detailing the system and the rescue exercise is available.

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