Need for wearable technology in critical environments
Frontline fire and rescue teams have had their hands full during the pandemic, more than you might think. In the UK, for example, fire and rescue teams witnessed more than half a million incidents in 2020, of which more than 150,000 are considered severe fires. Across the Atlantic, the US Fire Administration has reported 42 firefighter deaths so far this year, though parts of the country are still stranded as the vaccine rollout continues to accelerate. These numbers are down from previous years, but only by a very small margin. firefighters work endlessly Despite much of society going into a form of hibernation to protect themselves and loved ones from the spread of COVID-19, firefighters are among the many frontline workers who still put their lives on the line in danger to protect us, and their work has not changed. On the contrary, they have been exposed to even more risks than usual in the performance of their frontline functions, from burning houses and businesses to maintaining a presence at protests. Simply put, firefighters put themselves in danger every day. Attention has therefore turned to ways in which anyone can mitigate this risk and ensure the safety of frontline workers, such as essential hands-free communication equipment and protective gear. Those on the front lines have been examining these technologies very carefully since the start of the pandemic, reassessing how best to use them to facilitate social distancing and reduce contact without compromising mission critical activities. Protective and wearable technology “Smart PPE” is a new generation of protective and wearable technology that can keep frontline workers safe and connected. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and it certainly applies in this case. The rise of ‘smart PPE’ represents a new generation of protective and wearable technologies that can ensure the safety, connection and mobility of frontline workers – all vital prerequisites for a fast moving fire team during a global pandemic. Transparent Critical Communication All frontline workers need to be able to stay in touch with each other during busy shifts while staying safe and keeping their distance from each other to limit the spread of the virus. This is as true for nurses as it is for warehouse staff. However, mission-critical frontline workers such as paramedics, police, and firefighters frequently find themselves in noisy and dangerous environments that require rapid movement and near-instant reaction times. Smart PPE Firefighters, in particular, can rarely afford the time to manipulate a convenient radio unit or interface with buttons and switches to get a message across to their colleagues. They should be able to talk to their colleagues across a burning building or through a crowd of people as if they were in the same room, without the need to handle additional equipment or touch surfaces unnecessarily. This slows them down and could increase their chances of catching COVID-19. This is where Smart PPE comes in. Smart PPE is an evolutionary approach to mission-critical communications that combines protective gear such as helmets, visors and coveralls with wearable technology Cardo Crew Pro-1 Smart PPE is an evolutionary approach to mission-critical communications that combine protective equipment such as helmets, visors and coveralls with wearable technology. This technology can be built into PPE from the start or built into existing equipment to achieve the same effect. Take the Cardo Crew Pro-1 for example. It is a lightweight mesh communication module that fits inside equipment such as earmuffs, helmets and visors without compromising on comfort or safety. It is specially designed to allow PPE manufacturers themselves to integrate critical communication technology into their equipment, dramatically increasing its value and usefulness for field teams. Mesh Communication Technology It can be voice activated, making it ideal for environments secured by COVID where contact should be minimal. While not completely replacing PMR or cellular communication, a mesh-based intercom system is quickly becoming the technology of choice for small teams that need to exchange information quickly, reliably, and securely. One of the biggest advantages of wireless mesh communication is that it functions as a stand-alone, stand-alone network, without the need for a “base station” and without reliance on cellular reception. It can be voice activated, making it perfect for COVID secure work environments where contact needs to be kept to a minimum. It also enables two-way conversation at a range of up to 3000 meters, making it ideal for busy frontline teams working in the field. Beyond Emergency Services Even with the vaccine rollout well underway, everyone is likely to be aware of social distancing and reduced contact for some time to come, especially as new variants of the drug become available. viruses are emerging and people are taking their first steps towards international travel. Therefore, wireless mesh communication technology is likely to spread beyond frontline emergency services and into other environments such as hospitals, warehouses, factories and wherever teams need to. communicate while maintaining social distance and keeping contact to a minimum. Development of New Technologies The growing popularity of wearable technology and mesh communications is likely to strengthen the relationship between PPE manufacturers and their customers, leading to even more innovation in the PPE industry. Organizations such as fire and rescue teams will continue to go out of their way to find new, cutting-edge ways to perform their duties safely – not just in a way that allows for hands-free and COVID-enabled work. safe, but in a way that allows them to stay in tune with their colleagues with minimal effort. The impact of COVID-19 on the fire industry has undoubtedly posed challenges, as in all frontline sectors, but the response to these challenges has been overwhelmingly positive and the future of the industry will be brighter. for her.