Tools for fire commanders

A software tool for remote access to a fire simulator and communicating field monitored data

This software has been developed by the UNINA team, University of Naples, in the Fire Paradox project. GPS sensors are becoming cheap and ubiquitous. They are obviously useful and relevant to fire fighting operations and management. The question is how best to integrate this capability with existing tools and technologies, so that their application can be regarded as genuinely convenient and effective.

UNINA, Italy

Who will be interested in this product and why?

Supervisors of fire fighting operations

What are the innovative features?

The tool is not particularly innovative but it consists in an intelligent use of update available communication technology to provide fire fighters with useful information for example making available a view of wind field conditions surrounding the burning area.

Leader Contact

General objectives

The goal of the UNINA team was to produce a demonstration prototype of an integrated system to assist in exchanging wind information between fire-fighters in the field and dispatchers/controllers back at the base. The main functionalities of this product are:
1. Hand-held device to report local wind observations (speed and direction) from the field to the control centre. The integrated GPS automatically tags the observation with site information.
2. The reported wind observation is automatically received and inserted into a database. The arrival of the data triggers an automatic notification/display update on connected computer systems.
3. The new observation can be used to drive wind modelling simulation and produce a predicted wind field for the surrounding area.
4. Wind field predictions from the control centre can be transmitted back to the field, as maps and alerts.

Innovative aspects

Its innovation lies in the remotely access to server where fire and wind simulators are implemented to provide useful information to fire fighters.

Major results

The supporting connection between the main server with fire model and wind simulators with field operators can be done with a well-specified “smart phone” (or - even better - with a notebook) with an always-on internet connection, a touch-screen, a camera and a built-in GPS so as to:

- Obtain wind and fire overviews, as well as predictions;
- Have team locations mapped;
- Obtain wind observations from the field. Contribute local wind observations to central server);
- Have fire observations from the field. Rather than sending-in verbal reports by radio to incident commanders, fire-fighters could send video or photographs from their section of the line, which could then automatically be collated on the server and relayed to the commander;
- Using the touch screen, the on-site user could draw the current fire front onto a map and upload it.
Discussion with expert field operators reported a major concern about the visibility on the screen of such tools under sunlight conditions and a preference for a larger screen device and printed material eventually available in a field operating car.

Tools for fire commanders Screenshot

Tools for commanders Tools for commanders

Tools for fire commanders

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Online Multimedia Plateform : Prototype