S&T—in collaboration with FEMA, USFA, and other key stakeholder experts—determined WUI incidents and life-saving functions as the optimal areas for S&T to explore technology innovation.
DHS S&T, FEMA and USFA are working closely with the national and international first responder community on the growing problem of fires in the wildland-urban interface (WUI).
After extinguishing structural fires, firefighters carry out fire overhaul operations to locate and extinguish smoldering hot spots. Early on in the overhaul operations, firefighters wear self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA); although, it is common practice to remove the SCBA when the carbon monoxide (CO) concentration drops to a safe level. Studies have shown, however, that after CO dissipates, particulate matter and harmful chemicals are still present during overhaul environments. As a result, firefighters must continue to wear heavy SCBA equipment throughout overhaul operations or risk breathing in the hazardous material present in the overhaul environment. To address this hazard, the Respiratory Protection for Firefighters during Overhaul Operations project developed a filter module that is designed to be used in passive air-purifying respirators (APRs) and powered APRs (PAPRs) to protect firefighters from particulate and chemical hazards while being lighter and more comfortable than the traditional SCBA.
On Oct. 16, 2018, DHS S&T NUSTL conducted an OFA of Burn Saver. During this OFA, five firefighters served as evaluators and engaged in operational tests to evaluate Burn Saver’s suitability for use by firefighters in field scenarios that simulate conditions they may encounter during the performance of their duties.
If you are a Fire & Rescue professional attending the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis, mark your calendars to join S&T John Merrill and discuss how to “Make Firefighting Safer with Artificial Intelligence.” This discussion will be held in rooms 138-139 on , from to at the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil stadium.
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is working with TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) through a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award to develop a simple, inexpensive, wearable smart chemical sensor badge that has high sensitivity and selectivity to multiple TICs at trace (low parts per million or ppm) concentrations, and that triggers alarms at permissible exposure limits, short-term exposure limits and time weighted average concentrations.
Police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency response personnel use tactical eyewear to protect their eyes when working in the field. Common hazards that responders use tactical spectacles and goggles to protect against include shrapnel, blunt objects, chemicals, and blood and other biohazards. Included report: focus group report.
In close partnership with first responders at all levels, S&T identifies, validates, and facilitates the fulfillment of needs through the use of existing and emerging technologies, knowledge products, and standards.
Secretary Nielsen visited with Mark West Union School District Superintendent Ron Colloway. (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)
This week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to California to tour areas impacted by the devastating wildfires. In California, Secretary Nielsen pledged the federal government’s support to help rebuild affected communities.