New firefighter locator device nears production

Along with the personal locator device, professors and graduate students on the WPI team are also developing a sensor that would alert fire officials to flashover conditions inside a building

By Martin Luttrell
The Telegram & Gazette

WORCESTER, Mass. — After nearly a decade of development and testing by a team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a personal locator device and other safety equipment for firefighters are being scrutinized for possible production, according to WPI professor David Cyganski.

Mr. Cyganski, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, told about 30 members of the Old Tech Timers alumni group yesterday that the desire to design a device that could be used to track the location of a firefighter or other emergency responder came after the December 1999 Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire. Six city firefighters died in the vacant, windowless warehouse when they became lost and the inside of the structure flashed over with fire.

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