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Future Internet 2013, 5(2), 113-127;

A Concept for Support of Firefighter Frontline Communication

TecO, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, 53754 Sankt Augustin, Germany
National Institute of Informatics (NII), Tokyo 101-8430, Japan
Department of Information Systems and New Media, Universität Siegen, 57076 Siegen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2012 / Revised: 15 March 2013 / Accepted: 8 April 2013 / Published: 16 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Management, Communications and the Internet)
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In an indoor firefighter mission, coordination and communication support are of the utmost importance. We present our experience from over five years of research with current firefighter support technology. In contrast to some large scale emergency response research, our work is focused on the frontline interaction between teams of firefighters and the incident commander on a single site. In this paper we investigate the flaws in firefighter communication systems. Frequent technical failures and the high cognitive costs incurred by communicating impede coordination. We then extract a list of requirements for an assistant emergency management technology from expert interviews. Thirdly, we provide a system concept and explore challenges for building a novel firefighter support system based on our previous work. The system has three key features: robust ad-hoc network, telemetry and text messaging, as well as implicit interaction. The result would provide a complementary mode of communication in addition to the current trunked radio. View Full-Text
Keywords: firefighter; communication flaws; communication assistance firefighter; communication flaws; communication assistance

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Scholz, M.; Gordon, D.; Ramirez, L.; Sigg, S.; Dyrks, T.; Beigl, M. A Concept for Support of Firefighter Frontline Communication. Future Internet 2013, 5, 113-127.

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