THE SENSOR WEB: ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY FOR SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
KEVIN A. DELIN
SensorWare Systems, Inc., Pasadena, California
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Sacramento, Californiaand FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team, CA Task Force 7, Sacramento, California
The need for situational awareness in the dynamic environment of emergency and rescue operations is well understood. Data must be continually collected, analyzed, assimilated, and disseminated to both local operational personnel and remote commanders. The basic principles of “Facts, Probabilities, Own Situation, Decision, and Plan of Operation” for fire and rescue strategies are just as relevant today as they were when originally described in 1953 . Simply stated, situational awareness informs decision making and decreases reaction time to changing conditions, even allowing for anticipation of events in certain instances.
Failure to effectively collect, synthesize, and distribute facts to personnel involved at all levels of a field operation will result in service delays, or worse, death. Emergency services personnel cannot begin operations without having the ability to monitor for hazards and account for personnel. Because emergency and rescue operations are labor intensive, however, continuous and effective monitoring for hazardous conditions often becomes less of a priority, or disappears entirely. It is therefore of critical importance to find a technological means to generate situational ...