Enhanced sight of firemen
 Posted on 14/04/2014 - 09:12
Idea Outline
The core of the innovation is a technology, integrated in a fireman’s helmet, that enhances the sight of firemen, enabling them to see victims hidden by smoke. This will speed up the rescue of fire victims and contributes to the safety of firemen.

The Challenge
In 2013 the amount of deaths, as a result of fire, has increased by 15% in the Netherlands. Current technologies to see in the dark or in smoke-filled spaces are suboptimal, not intuitive and not as effective as the situation requires (life-threatening for victims and firemen). The better the situational awareness of firemen, the quicker victims will be rescued and the safer the situation is for the firemen themselves. Traditional systems are handheld and not intuitive. The fireman can’t use both hands because he is carrying the thermal viewer. The challenges are to shorten rescue time to enhance situational awareness and to minimize the impact of carrying an imaging system.

The Solution

The solution to this challenge lies in developing new technology. 'ITS' specializes in developing camera techniques for difficult conditions. The use of a thermal imaging sensor provides a radically better sight through smoke than the naked eye. A victim, hidden by smoke, is found much quicker, which increases his chances of surviving substantially. Because the system is an integral part of the fireman’s helmet it will not influence his agility and he will be able to use both hands. The integrated display, right before his eye, composes an intuitive sight on the scene, thus it enhances his situational awareness, enabling him to find victims much faster. On top of that he will spot ‘hidden’ fire, above ceilings and behind walls, which will dramatically improve his safety.

Target group and social impact
First of all, firemen will benefit from this innovation. Fireman is a job with a high risk level. Decreasing search time and spotting hidden fire increases safety dramatically for the fireman, since he is less time inside the building that is on fire. Second, fire victims will benefit, since their chances of surviving a fire will increase. Off course the social impact will be much bigger because preventing the death of relatives and decreasing the effects of fire wounds has an impact on society as a whole. In a bigger scope, the technology has the potential to be used in many situations, not only by firemen but by police and ambulance personal as well.

Competences of the applicant
ITS is a company that specializes in developing and building cameras for challenging conditions. ITS develops night vision cameras and thermal imaging systems. They develop both full products and parts of products. Also they perform studies for feasibility of new technologies. Competences include extensive experience in embedded hard- and software and R&D at esteemed (international) companies.

Video Link
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Social Category
  • Health and Demographic Change
  • Social Inclusion, Human Rights and Equality
  • Other

  • Tecnology Category
  • Audiovisual

  • Please log in to Rate this Idea

    you have a prototype?
    because I have a question. the smoke of a fire can reach high temperatures. How this thermal camera can see through?

    Brilliant project because of the increasing situational awareness of firemen that will result in saving many lifes.