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Technology for locating first responders in buildings to be showcased at national workshop
Date:7/19/2010

WORCESTER, Mass. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), a leader in the development of technology for precisely locating, tracking, and monitoring first responders inside buildings, will host the fifth annual Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking Technology for Emergency Responders in the WPI Campus Center Aug. 2-3, 2010. The only national forum in this emerging field, the workshop will bring together approximately 130 leading researchers from industry, academia, and government, members of the first responder community, and representatives of federal, state, and local governments to explore the state of the field and discuss future technical challenges.

Precision indoor location technology is designed to help firefighters, police officers, and EMTs quickly locate and rescue colleagues who become lost, disabled, or trapped inside buildings. 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.

This year's workshop will include updates on research on indoor location and tracking technology projects being funded by federal agencies, demonstrations of existing technology (including rigorous real-world tests of three systems by the Worcester Fire Department), and, as indoor location and tracking technology moves closer to commercial availability, initial discussions of the need to set standards for their performance and use.

"Since we launched this workshop in 2005, we have seen continually expanding interest in this field, to the point where requests to participate in this year's meeting have prompted us to provide even more space for presentations and demonstr
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Contact: Michael Dorsey
mwdorsey@wpi.edu
508-831-5609
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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