FireHUD, Inc. has been chosen by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to partner in the Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) – Birmingham Shaken Fury Operational Experimentation (OpEx) set for late August 2019. The OpEx will depict an earthquake scenario featuring partial structural collapse and a HAZMAT leak at the Legion Field stadium. Along with 26 other industry partners, FireHUD, Inc. will actively deploy its solution, the BioTrac Platform, to display the biometrics of first responders in real-time and send alerts for overexertion events.
Shaken Fury is a series of exercises prepared by FEMA; the purpose of this exercise is to evaluate and improve first response to a "no-notice" earthquake, by identifying gaps in resources, and implementing a coordinated recovery strategy that prioritizes resources required for the response. FEMA states, “Exercises are a key component of national preparedness — they provide stakeholders from across the whole community with the opportunity to shape planning, assess and validate capabilities, and address areas for improvement.” At the exercise, FireHUD aims to demonstrate the BioTrac Platform’s reliability and passivity, as well as the difference that real-time biometric monitoring and alerting can make for preventing injuries in emergency scenarios.
The BioTrac Platform is FireHUD’s response to the number one cause of firefighter deaths and injuries — overexertion. Overexertion can lead to heat strain and even heart attacks. Simply put, overexertion is common in the fire service because firefighters are thrown into chaotic environments and are constantly pushing their bodies to their limits. By providing alerts in real-time, FireHUD’s system aims to prevent the injuries and deaths caused by overexertion. At Shaken Fury, FireHUD will issue wearable devices to first responders so that their command teams can monitor their safety during the event.
The FireHUD BioTrac Platform passively collects biometric data via a device worn on the arm, under PPE. The device sends data to a radio gateway, which forwards it to a web application for commander viewing. This creates actionable data for authorized officials in real-time as well as for post-incident analysis through FireHUD’s web interface. The device measures biometrics such as heart rate, estimated core temperature, exertion, calories burned, and distance traveled. With these metrics, FireHUD uses machine learning to create a personalized profile that predicts exertion levels for each individual firefighter throughout each fire operation.
FireHUD looks forward to working with other public safety industry partners at the Shaken Fury OpEx, many of which are also on the cutting edge of their fields. For example, companies showcasing their technology in unmanned aerial systems, deployable communications, simulation tools, gas sensors, and first responder situational awareness will also be at the OpEx.
FireHUD aims to make firefighting safer through new technology and real-time access to critical data. According to DHS S&T Program Manager and Birmingham Shaken Fury OpEx Director Cuong Luu, “Real-time information helps first responders make real-time decisions.”
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