Moscow starts to test smart bracelets for firefighters and rescuers

Moscow starts to test smart bracelets for firefighters and rescuers
The devices help monitor the health of fire and rescue squad crew members and determine their whereabouts during firefighting operations.

Moscow has started to test smart bracelets monitoring the health of fire and rescue squad crew members in emergency situations. Crew members of the Fire and Rescue Centre No 213 in Zelenograd have received such bracelets as part of the experiment. These devices help determine the rescuer’s whereabouts. If he or she feels bad or has fainted, the bracelet will trigger an alarm to the control point and they will send reinforcements.

“A GPS/GLONASS receiver is installed in the bracelets. The devices are able to detect immobility: if a crew member wearing a bracelet stays motionless for 30 seconds, an alarm signal goes to the mobile security post. In addition, rescuers can send alarm signals individually, and the message will go to the mobile security post and all their colleagues around who are wearing a smart bracelet,” said Alexei Fursin, Head of the Department for Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship.

He added that now the commanders of rescue squads can supervise firefighting more quickly and effectively, and can also warn their crews about approaching danger zones by sending short messages to their devices. In addition, the bracelets receive reminders on traffic laws and urgent work tasks.

Smart bracelets have a coverage area of three kilometres around the mobile security post, and relay stations extend this distance to 50 kilometres. The devices work in temperatures from minus 30 to plus 55 degrees Celsius. 

Zelenograd rescuers have received sets of equipment with bracelets for a trial run. If the pilot project is a success, the devices will come into use with other fire squads in the country.

Employees of the Emergencies Ministry (EMERCOM) also have fire and rescue motorbikes at their disposal. Eight such motorbikes will be sent to the Moscow EMERCOM office before the end of 2017. They are equipped with fire extinguishers and 20-litre water bottles with pumps and fire hoses. This is enough to put out a small fire in an area of up to 10 square kilometres.  All the motorbikes are connected to the GLONASS system and equipped with saddlebags for a first-aid kit and with tool sets. They can be recognised by their red colour, the fire service’s traditional colour.