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Emergencies

Science

Fires could be extinguished using beams of electricity

It’s certainly an established fact that electricity can cause fires, but today a group of Harvard scientists presented their research on the use of electricity for fighting fires. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, Dr. Ludovico Cademartiri told of how they used a unique device to shoot beams of electricity at an open flame over one foot tall. Almost immediately, he said, the flame was extinguished. On a larger scale, such a system would minimize the amount of water that needed to be sprayed into burning buildings, both saving water and limiting water damage to those buildings.Read More

Marine

EMILY rescues swimmers when lifeguards can't

Riptides can carry hapless swimmers out into the ocean very quickly – by the time a lifeguard is able swim out to rescue them, it may be too late. Using a Jet Ski to reach struggling swimmers is one option, although such watercraft can be expensive, problematic to store on-site, and difficult to launch for one person. Now, seaside municipalities can get something cheaper and easier for reaching those swimmers-in-distress: an electric remote-control motorized rescue buoy called EMILY. Read More

Medical

Intelligent blood bags optimize supplies and prevent dangerous mistakes

During high-risk medical operations surgeons keep blood supplies at hand so that they are ready to face possible emergencies; but blood bags can only be reused if the cold chain has been maintained, meaning that a portion of such a precious and limited resource routinely goes wasted. To face this problem, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany have proposed intelligent blood bags with an embedded a radio chip that constantly monitors temperature and checks for blood type compatibility with the patient, avoiding possible mistakes.Read More

Computers

Microsoft wants us to hear it on the Vine

With the Facebook and Twitter social networking juggernaut rolling ever onwards, Microsoft is looking to jump on the bandwagon with its new social web app called Vine. While sites such as Facebook and Twitter use the global span of the internet to let users connect with people from all corners of the globe, Vine makes its focus local, concentrating on keeping users in touch with family, friends, activities and major events in their community, including disasters and emergencies.Read More

Good Thinking

Communications “Gizmo” to aid emergency response

December 19, 2007 It may look like just another remote-controlled toy truck, but this "Gizmo" has the potential to save lives in disaster response situations. Javier Rodriguez Molina, a 24 year old electrical engineering graduate student and programmer analyst at the UC San Diego's California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), is designing an advanced mobile, wireless communications machine that can venture into environments too dangerous for humans and collect and transmit critical information to emergency personnel. It is hoped that the design platform - which is will not be limited to its current toy-truck guise - can provide real-time assistance in emergency situations such as terrorist attacks, building collapses or hurricanes.Read More

Outdoors

Life saving Nebulus floatation device

November 19, 2007 Over 50 deaths per year in the US and Canada are attributed to drowning when snowmobiles and ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) crash through thin ice. In an effort to significantly reduce the risk of such tragedies occurring, the University of Minnesota in partnership with JTW Associates have developed the Nebulus Emergency Flotation Device - a self-inflating shell that deploys quickly and allows a water or ice rescue to be performed by one person without waiting for back up. Read More

Military

WoundStat dressing compound cleared for battlefield use

September 24, 2007 A potentially lifesaving new type of dressing compound has been approved for use by the FDA. WoundStat is a lightweight, pre-mixed, compound that stems high-pressure bleeding in moderate to severe wounds and is ideal for combat situations due to its portability and ability to be be applied on the spot. Like the Integrated Tourniquet Clothing System covered recently on Gizmag, the development provides another avenue of relief for what remains a major cause of death on the battlefield - bleeding to death. Read More

Wearables

Wristwatch emergency beacon a lifesaver in remote emergencies

July 31, 2007 In remote emergency situations, simply being located quickly by response teams can mean the difference between life and death. For example if you’re trapped under debris and found within 30 minutes, you’ve got a 50% chance of survival. Make that three hours and nine out of ten victims will die. Small, lightweight emergency beacons are a simple solution to this equation, but they haven’t proven economically attractive yet. Now in a socially conscious move aimed at invigorating the industry, a global Russian electronics firm has made its emergency beacon designs and expertise available free of charge.Read More

Telecommunications

“Tornado emergency hotline. Please hold.” - ROSETTA emergency comm. kit puts order back in crisis

July 18, 2007 In this new age where communication, not ammunition, is the deciding factor in warfare. The ROSETTA-911, a rapid response communications system developed by Platforms Wireless International Corporation, has shown that not only is it effective in battles, but can also assist emergency workers in saving lives. The system enables disparate VHF, UHF, 800 MHz radios, cellular and land-line (secured) telephones, and Internet/VOIP to interconnect and communicate with each other, regardless of differences in equipment makes or brands, communications protocols, and/or communications backbone systems. After successfully demonstrating an earlier model to the US Department of Defense in 2006, PWIC has recently announced the readiness of its new and improved version.Read More

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