Advanced e-textiles for firefighters and civilian victims


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Objectives

The goal of the ProeTEX project is to improve the safety and efficiency of emergency workers by empowering them with wearable sensing and transmission systems that monitor their health, activity, position and their environment during such risky situations as:

  • Rescue operations
  • Water rescue
  • Operations requiring ventilation
  • Firefighting in urban and industrial settings
  • Large area bush fires
  • Earthquake and building collapse

 

 

 

How is the project to achieve this objective?

By creating a wearable interface for monitoring the operator's health status and surrounding environment potential risk sources, giving him/her useful real time information and/or alarms, as well as allowing data transmission between the operator and the central unit.

The project will develop a full system for firefighters and civil protection workers plus a limited system for injured civilians.

 

Why use smart textiles?

The main constraints to take into consideration while conceiving such systems is their ease of use. If firefighters are to actually use them they must not be in any way impeded or interfered with in their mobility and the system must not significantly add to the weight of the overall protection clothing (which is already heavy and bulky, particularly if oxygen cylinders are used). Therefore the systems must operate as a 'second skin'. Textile-based smart wearables are a logical option to enable this.

 

What kind of functionality must the systems provide?

  • To alert support to the presence of an unconscious/injured firefighter/civil worker and to localize them
  • To enable determination that a firefighter/civil worker may be in difficulties or seriously under stress or in danger
  • To communicate between firefighters/civil workers inside the operations area
  • To communicate from firefighters/civil workers to support outside the operations area
  • To transmit data on a firefighter's/civil worker's health and level of stress, activity, position and the environmental status and risks
  • To provide active measures to combine with the passive capabilities of the protective clothing to seek to prevent injury from burns, flash-over, hyperthermia, explosion, burn by flows of acids and corrosive substances, electrocution and NRBC risks.

 

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