The full range of Coolfire’s capabilities were on display at Texas A&M’s Disaster City for the SCITI smart cities security program.
Coolfire Solutions has the privilege of being one of 13 companies chosen to participate in the Smart Cities Internet of Things Innovation (SCITI) Labs program. SCITI aims to identify and develop technologies that will provide the smart cities of the future with innovative new tools in the public safety space.
SCITI brought these companies on board in order to fast-track innovation and get the best IoT technologies into the hands of emergency workers by 2020. Chosen for the Lab as part of a highly competitive process, Coolfire is an interoperability platform proven to integrate with third-party IoT devices and sensors for increased real-time situational awareness in mission-critical operations.
Coolfire Visits World-Class Disaster Facilities
SCITI Labs hosted a five-day event in October at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), allowing partner companies to showcase their technologies in realistic test scenarios with first responders, and receive valuable feedback.
TEEX, the world-class emergency preparedness training extension in College Station, Texas, has provided more than 80 years of hands-on instructional training for all manner of emergency teams. It gives law enforcement units a chance to learn best practices and test new technologies.
The primary training grounds include the Brayton Fire Training Field, the 52-acre Disaster City, and the Emergency Operations Training Center. In the environment teams can work through test scenarios, from house fires and train crashes to collapsed buildings and oil spills. Full-scale, collapsible structures allow teams to simulate disaster response scenarios under controlled conditions.
Live Tests Demonstrate Coolfire’s Capabilities
Picture a school, with students, teachers, and a maintenance team going about their day. There’s a sudden explosion, killing one maintenance person and injuring another. People in the classrooms hear the sound — some hide in place, and others run panicked for the exits, injuring additional people. What happens next?
At TEEX, this scenario became “real,” with a fully outfitted building and a crowd of volunteers. Coolfire and the other partner companies allowed first responder teams to use their technologies in several timed disaster response scenarios. Building sensors, camera feeds, responder dispatch technology, and communications tools allowed emergency workers to assess the situation, plan, and then execute a response.
After these scenarios, the fire safety responders identified Coolfire as one of the technologies that changed their behavior on the way to the disaster. Coolfire’s mobile technology provided 3-D maps of the building’s layout, layered with real-time sensor data to help them develop complete situational awareness before arriving at the scene. With useful ‘at a glance’ information, the platform allowed the team to identify the safest entry points and find victims more quickly. The SCITI event proved to be an ideal environment for first responders to experience how Coolfire can maximize data from multiple sources to transform and improve emergency operations.
SCITI Labs Takeaways
For the Coolfire Solutions team, the SCITI Labs event was not only a fascinating look at some of the world’s best disaster training facilities but also an opportunity to collaborate with emergency response technology end users. “Being part of the SCITI program has provided us the opportunity to test our technology in a controlled environment and to gather direct feedback from our end users,” said CEO Don Sharp.
For a company that strives to constantly innovate and improve through feedback and real-world research, the TEEX event was an invaluable opportunity to identify which parts of the product are most effective, and which can be further improved. As Sharp further noted, “the ability to get real-world feedback, from real-world first responders — you just can’t put a price on that.”