Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Researchers Are Working On Safer Rescue Equipment

A company called GlowZone, Inc. has been working with photoluminescent (PL) products for years.  For those that aren't well-versed in chemistry, photoluminescent (PL) products glow in the dark.  The most common product on the market is probably the glow stick, which are throughout the emergency services industry.  However, until recently, these products were only available in the glow-stick form (which only lasted for a few hours) and in a flat tape (which really was more reflective than glow in the dark).  With some pretty impressive scientific breakthroughs, GlowZone, Inc. has managed to change that.  They have managed to make a PL product that can be used on multiple surfaces and maintains its brightness over time, as it recharges within seconds of being in sunlight.
Fire officer in a partially lit and completely dark stairwell with turnouts outfitted with GlowZone technology.
Although they have multiple applications for their technologies, one of the most beneficial has to be that of adding it to fire safety gear.  GlowZone makes your fire safety products photoluminescent, helping emergency crews locate and activate critical equipment; and preventing injuries from obstacles like fire extinguisher cabinets and hose racks, even when the building, hospital, hotel or mine is in total darkness.  They have most recently begun testing this same technology onto turnout coat and pants, making not only the tools more visible in the dark but the firefighters as well.

This technology was recently tested at a training center in Anaheim, California.  With the photoluminescent gear, the firefighters were able to reduce the time it took to find a down firefighter by 45 seconds, or approximately 30 percent. Those few seconds are huge in a life or death situation.  The below video shows the technology in action.

This new technology is currently only in the testing and research, it proving to be useful and effective.  Hopefully it will be available on the market soon.

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