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Results of national assessment of first responder location systems to be announced Aug. 3
Date:7/24/2009

WORCESTER, Mass. The results of a national assessment of indoor location systems for firefighters and other first responders will be announced at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) during the 2009 Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking for Emergency Responders, which runs from Aug. 3 to 4. The assessment was conducted by WPI researchers this spring with funding from the Department of Homeland Security and oversight from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC).

Precision indoor location technology is designed to make it possible for firefighters, police officers, and EMTs to quickly locate and rescue teammates who become lost, disabled, or trapped inside a building. Coupled with physiological monitoring technology, such systems can also alert incident commanders when first responders are in distress--especially when their stress levels put them at risk of a heart attack. A 2008 report by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) identified stress or over-exhaustion and becoming lost or disoriented inside buildings as two of the top three leading causes of firefighter fatalities in 2007.

This is the fourth year of the workshop, which is the only national forum where the position location research, user, and development communities can gain a comprehensive overview of the state of the field and discuss future technical challenges. This year more than 100 leading researchers from industry, academia, and government; members of the first responder community; and representatives of federal, state, and local governments are expected to attend and engage in this workshop.

The keynote speakers for the 2009 workshop are Jalal Mapar, program manager, science and technology directorate, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and John Morgan, director of the National Institute of Justice Office of Science and Technology. Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) will address the workshop on Tu
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Contact: Michael Dorsey
mwdorsey@wpi.edu
508-831-5609
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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