Firefighters Use Advanced Technologies Due To The Intensification Of Fires In The World

Firefighters Use Advanced Technologies Due To The Intensification Of Fires In The World

As Fires Rage Around The World, Firefighters Are Using Advanced Technology To Keep Themselves Safe.

OLIOLA, Spain—Catalan firefighters calmly controlled the progress of a planned wildfire on a forested hillside as flames, and smoke from burning bushes billowed toward them.

This exercise aimed to reduce the risk of future fires in the summer heat. Deliberate and prescribed fires in forests, which reduce flammable undergrowth, are a well-known method of reducing the risk of wildfires, which are increasing as the Earth’s climate warms.

On a balmy morning in a suburb outside Barcelona, ​​a price monitoring device was field tested for the first time. Its purpose is to protect the firefighting team and, in the long term, the population living near fire-prone areas.

“In the 20 years we’ve been doing this kind of stuff, we’ve become more aware of the fact that we’ve been doing this for a while,” says veteran firefighter Juan Herrera, who, after suffering from headaches and breathing problems, tried to identify the effects of smoke inhalation.

We are dealing with toxic elements.” He and an emergency room nurse have worked on the Prometeo device and software along with a volunteer team of three IT developers and data scientists, which won the 2019 Global Call for Code Challenge led by tech giant IBM.

  • IBM provides computing and specialized services to deploy the open source solution worldwide in fire-prone locations, from Spain to Australia and California. “First, we need to understand what’s happening to us, determine the concentration of smoke and its effect on carbon monoxide levels, and decide through the software how a firefighter will perform during the duration of the firefight and whether we can continue to do so,” Herrera said. Should we use him or take him outside to rest?”
  • Ten of the 30 firefighters working on the fire near the village of Oliola had a small green box on the front of their uniform, made with 3D printing and contained sensors that detect the level of carbon monoxide, temperature, and humidity. This data would be converted into a program that would be reviewed and monitored on a screen in a tent far from the fire site on the hillside.
  • The computer icons changed from green to amber or red whenever carbon monoxide increased around each firefighter. “If we know firefighter number three has been exposed to carbon monoxide all day, the computer says he shouldn’t be going out tomorrow,” explained Prometeo team member Joseph Ruffles. He added: “The personnel who perform the emergency services will never tell you that they feel bad and dizzy, but this data will tell you.” The program aims to collect enough data to produce critical medical results, improve reusable devices (which Ruffols says can be manufactured for less than $11), and find commercial partners for broader deployment.   

  • Salome Valero, the developer of Prometeo, said that if the technology works well in Catalonia, there is hope that it can be implemented elsewhere, starting with Australia, where many volunteer firefighters lack advanced tools like Prometeo. According to Salome Valero, firefighters are a big international family. They have a mechanism to learn from each other in big fires, like in Australia, Greece, Portugal, Spain, or America.
  • Mark Castellano, a fire analyst at the Catalan government’s fire service, says the Prometeo device would ideally be used for five years by a group of approximately 1,000 firefighters internationally to achieve favorable clinical results. He noted that studies have shown that those who fight fires in buildings have a higher risk of cancer. He added that the goal is to understand whether exposure to wildfire smoke poses the same risks and threats and whether it potentially worsens cardiovascular disease. He said: “As soon as we know about this case, we can think about its solution.”
  • A decade ago, Fabian Riesen, a research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia, developed guidelines for protecting firefighters exposed to smoke. Firefighters responsible for defending urban areas during massive wildfires need more work because they may inhale chemicals from burning buildings and cars, he says, and they need at least respiratory protection.
  • Castellano said climate change would increase fire seasons and more intense fires, spreading more widely and putting more property and property at risk. “In a wealthy society, like California, Europe, or Australia, there are more assets and properties that are threatened by fire and need to be protected,” he said.
  • IBM and its partners stated in the “Code Challenge Call” that they are looking for innovations based on open source technologies to deal with climate change in the 2020 competition. Partners, which include the United Nations and the Linux Foundation, say participants should focus on water and energy sustainability or flood resilience. In an international online survey conducted by IBM of nearly 3,200 technology developers, emergency response groups, and climate activists, 79 percent agree that climate change is a problem that can be mitigated or combated with technology.
  • “Climate change is the biggest and most urgent issue of our time,” says Daniel Crook, a software engineer at IBM. “After talking and consulting with developers worldwide and politicians in most countries, we realized that this issue requires urgent action.”