Yet in spite of their increasingly vital role safeguarding U.S. homes and businesses, which have encroached ever closer to forests turned into tinder by things like climate change and underfunded prevention efforts, contract firefighters remain ineligible for the federal Public Safety Officers' Benefits extended to state and federal firefighters. Those benefits include a payment of close to $360,000 in the event of a job-related death, plus scholarship opportunities for grieving spouses and children.
Pasadena, CA - Firefighters have only their wits and five senses to rely on inside a burning building. But research developed in part by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, may change that, introducing artificial intelligence (AI) that could collect data on temperatures, gases and other danger signals and guide a team of first responders safely through the flames. AUDREY, the Assistant for Understanding Data through Reasoning, Extraction, and sYnthesis, has received the Undersecretary's Award for Collaboration from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in recognition of its joint development by JPL and DHS. It's part of the Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) program, a DHS initiative to innovate new ways to keep firefighters, police, paramedics and other first responders safe in the field through increased awareness of their surroundings and communication abilities. But the big picture is even more exciting: AUDREY can track an entire team of firefighters, sending relevant signals to individuals while helping to make recommendations for how they could work together.
EATON, Ind. – A volunteer firefighter responded to the hardest call of his life. It was a call at his own home. Monday morning just before 8 o'clock, Brett McBride had just gotten home from working third shift. "I was in the room getting ready to go to sleep. I woke up and started smelling smoke and I looked out my bedroom window and started seeing smoke," said Brett McBride, an Eaton volunteer firefighter.
Braden Leonard is the founder of Hand Made Prosthetics – a startup designing robust prosthetic gear for people with limb loss who want to pursue extreme sports. Leonard is currently an Autodesk BUILD resident and is using emerging tech to find ways of upgrading what's possible for upper limb prosthetic devices.
Two Maryland firefighters have been accused of assaulting a female firefighter from another station during a fight over which unit should go first inside a burning home. Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks says volunteer firefighters Jeffry Miller and Chris Kelly were indicted Tuesday on multiple charges including second-degree assault and interfering with a firefighter. Alsobrooks says a unit of firefighters arrived first at the Hyattsville blaze last December, but Kelly, who wasn't in full gear, blocked the door, preventing them from entering. The state's attorney says Kelly hit the female firefighter, knocking her off the porch. The woman tried entering again, but officials said Miller grabbed her and pulled her away.