FDNY testing radio tags to track firefighters

Fifteen trucks are testing the military-developed technology, which uses fobs and truck-based reader

By Nancy Scola
The Washington Post

NEW YORK — New York City's fire department is experimenting with outfitting its firefighters with $20 radio tags. Think of it as an E-Z Pass for tracking firefighters during the confusion of an emergency.

The new tool is, in some ways, part of the ongoing response to the chaos of the Sept. 11, 2001,  terrorist attacks. Back then, reports the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Space Systems Development Department, which is working on the project, the technology driving the department's ride lists consisted of paper and carbon copies.

"It's in a little sealed plastic — it looks like a little key fob, actually," said George Arthur, a Naval Research Laboratory engineer, in a statement. "They're positioned over the left breast, inside the bunker coat in a little Kevlar pocket that's sewn in there. And it just sends out a little ping every five seconds: Here I am, here I am, here I am."

Full story: NYC firefighters are being tracked with military-developed radio tags

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