A long-awaited firefighter tracking system will be available this year. The Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform, or WASP, is a first-generation sensor system used in infrastructure-free and GPS-denied environments to track fire-service personnel. Wireless sensor technologies are integrated into turnout gear, specifically a new technical based layer developed by Globe Mfg. and its textile technology partner, Propel LLC.

Tracking firefighters became a priority after the 1999 Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire, in which six firefighters died after becoming lost. The idea re-energized after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when federal leadership asked scientists to develop technologies that could track firefighters in buildings where GPS was unavailable.

To learn more about the system and its capabilities, FIRE CHIEF spoke with Mark Mordecai, Globe’s director of business development. Globe has been involved in the project since 2006.

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