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Steve Toren 612.963.5158 | firstname.lastname@example.org
When Every Second Counts
vices realm, the number of potential responders who
will be available to join the ranks is about to diminish. Already, approximately 50 percent of the work
conducted in the United States can be performed by
machines. In addition, by the year 2020, the number
of workers leaving the workforce will not be matched
by an equal number entering. In fact, by 2025, we
will begin to see noticeable reductions in the number
of workers entering the labor market, driving up
labor costs and making automation of tasks desirable.
This article will look at the current state of some of
the technology that will be used to assist emergency
responders in the very near future.
Autonomous vehicles may fly, drive, or swim
and have the ability to provide information
and move equipment and personnel. In 2017,
the first autonomous aerial vehicles will be
deployed to serve as human transport vehicles.
These vehicles have the ability to transport
groups of individuals, similar to buses and
mass transit systems, along predetermined
routes; this will reduce the maintenance cost
on road infrastructure and move transportation
systems from two-dimensional systems tied to
the earth to three dimensional systems capable
of moving more people in less time. These systems can be easily adapted to ambulances, as is
being tested, where emergency medical services
providers respond in rapid response vehicles
and the transportation unit is flown in to the
patient. This allows for rapid patient transport,
the ability to move emergency responders
around quickly, and quick turnaround of the
Aerial vehicles, whether autonomous or
controlled remotely, also have the ability to
move heavy payloads and deposit them where
needed. This allows for the rapid sharing of
resources and the reduction of vehicle weight.
For example, a hazardous materials team may
deploy in a small vehicle with minimal equipment and then request preassembled packets of
response equipment, which can be requested
and delivered to the scene. This allows the
development of regional or state caches of
equipment to be developed and stored, deploy-ing as necessary, thereby reducing cost to communities and increasing efficiencies.
Aerial vehicles can also serve as informa-
tion gathering units. Whether searching for
heat signatures and fire conditions, looking
for lost hikers, conducting crowd surveil-
lance for illness at special events, or monitor-
ing air or water quality at a hazmat incident,
the ability to gather information that can be
assessed and turned into useful intelligence is criti-
cal to the decision-making process. These vehicles
are already being deployed by emergency response
organizations throughout the world, and their use
Similarly, autonomous or guided vehicles are being
deployed to operate in the marine environment.
These vehicles can be deployed on or below the
surface and have proven themselves instrumental in
a variety of situations including searching for lost div-
ers and drowning victims, analyzing vessel integrity
during collisions and groundings, and assessing the
integrity of pipelines and bulk storage tanks.
Finally, autonomously operated road vehicles have