New technology to help locate firefighters in burning buildings - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

New technology to help locate firefighters in burning buildings

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PHOENIX -

When firefighters enter burning a building, the thick smoke can be blinding and it can be hard to see where everyone is.

"Once they disappear into the building, especially one heavily charged with smoke and fire, there's no way to tell, other than the hose line that they're on and the radio they're using, where they're at," said Shelly Jamison, spokesperson for Phoenix Fire.

New technology could help firefighters locate each other when they aren't able to see.

The fire training facility is working with a prototype by Honeywell that will hopefully develop into daily equipment.

Using GLANSER technology (Geospatial, Location, Accountability and Navigation System), crews could track, locate and help firefighters while they're performing a rescue.

Honeywell developed the prototype from equipment they already use to navigate aircrafts.

"Too soon to tell when it will be for use in real life, but right now, our first order of business is to make sure it works and make sure it's accurate," said Claire Miller, with Honeywell. "Even in its big state, our firefighters are telling us this is very useful, but when it's smaller, then everybody can use it."

Phoenix Fire Department perform field tests by putting on the technology over their gear, and participate in a simulated search and rescue exercise. Then, a fire commander tracks and directs a rescue team on a laptop outside the building.

Using the results of the tests, Honeywell can improve the technology until it's ready for firefighters to use during real rescues.

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