New Book Examines Emergency Response Technology

A new book co-authored by Berkeley Mechanical Engineering graduate student Joel Wilson and Prof. Paul Wright describes the development of new technologies to support first-responders more effectively and more safely manage large urban/industrial incidents. The book, entitled, “Safety, Rescue, and Emergency Response in a Post 9/11 World” will be of great interest to the fire, police and military communities, and to those designing or implementing head-mounted displays, emergency response equipment, and sensor networks.

The book begins with a ‘user-needs’ study conducted with major US Fire Departments, highlighting the need for improved communications and visual special information. Later Chapters describe a wireless sensor network that can readily be installed in a building, transmit incident conditions, track responder locations, and provide redundancy in communications. The book also describes new tools for the Chief and the personnel involved in the incident scene, including the FireEye head-mounted display. Human subjects experiments show up to 60% improvement in navigation effectivness, enhancing victim rescue and fire attack.