In support of the TechSolutions Program within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) conducted an independent and comprehensive operational field assessment of the commercially available Fit-Ear™ Multi Purpose Device (MPD) and Vented Stereo (VS-1) communication enhancing earpieces. The purpose of the field assessment was to provide an opportunity for firefighters to test and evaluate the effectiveness of the MPD and VS-1 during simulated emergency response operations to determine if they would be valuable tools for the firefighting community.
The MPD and VS-1 earpieces are molded to the individual user for a custom fit. Prior to the field assessment, Fit-Ear obtained molds of each firefighter who had volunteered to be a test subject, and then provided the custom earpieces at the assessment. Additionally, Fit-Ear provided training and familiarization on the earpieces to the test subjects at the beginning of the assessment.
The field assessment was executed on October 5, 2011, at a firefighting training facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Aberdeen, Maryland, with the assistance of the APG Fire Department. The results of the field assessment are based on the cumulative opinions of the test subjects, which were recorded throughout the assessment.