Location and Navigation Support for Emergency Responders: A Survey

Report Date: March 2010

Every year, firefighter lives are lost from being trapped, lost, or disoriented during structural fires. The NFPA and NIOSH have identified lost firefighters as a major cause of firefighter deaths. There are many notable examples of rapid intervention crews, despite their best efforts, being unable to find a lost or trapped firefighter in time to save their life. A system that could track firefighter location inside a building would help firefighters to exit on their own or help other firefighters to locate and remove them. This paper discusses various personal localization systems and assesses their application for firefighting. Systems, including preinstalled, wireless sensor, and inertial sensing all have advantages and disadvantages for firefighting requirements. In general, there is a trade-off between easy deployment and high position accuracy.


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Fischer, Carl and Hans Gellersen. Location and Navigation Support for Emergency Responders: A Survey. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 9 (1). pp. 38-47. ISSN 1536-1268. 2010.

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