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Worcester Polytechnic Institute to host national forum on locating first responders inside buildings

WORCESTER, Mass. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will hold its second annual workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking for Emergency Responders, the only national forum for researchers, corporate R&D leaders, national policy makers, and public safety departments on this critical challenge, on Aug. 6 and 7, 2007, in the Campus Center at WPI.

A 2005 report from the National Fire Protection Association noted that getting lost, trapped, or disabled inside buildings is the third leading cause of firefighter fatalities. There is also a critical need for indoor location and tracking technology by public safety departments, the military, the mining industry, and other fields where people can become lost or trapped indoors in dangerous or life-threatening situations.

Academic, corporate, and government researchers are pursuing the development of those technologies, and WPIs workshop will feature presentations onand demonstrations ofa number of leading technologies for indoors tracking and location, including WPI's (see below). The workshop will also provide an assessment of the state of the field and the prognosis for viable commercial solutions.

Keynote speakers will include Charles Dickinson, deputy assistant administrator, U.S. Fire Administration, Jalal Mapar, program manager, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Joe Heaps, program manager, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. Additional presenters will include representatives from more than 20 companies and research groups, including WPI, Carnegie Melon, Honeywell Inc., Draper Laboratories, Foster-Miller Inc., Microsoft, MITRE Corporation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the U.S. Navy.

Motivated by a 1999 fire in the Worcester (Mass.) Cold Storage Warehouse, in which six firefighters died within feet of exits they could not locate, and supported by more than $
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Contact: Michael Dorsey
mwdorsey@wpi.edu
508-831-5609
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
26-Jul-2007


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