Department of Homeland Security reveals outcomes of C-THRU firefighter assessment

June 21, 2024
fire training

Overview of the C-THRU system for firefighting

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has announced the results of an Operational Field Assessment (OFA) of C-THRU.

This real-time visualization system aims to assist firefighters by reducing the disorientation experienced during fire response operations within structures.

C-THRU includes the C-THRU Navigator, a helmet-mounted device, and a Visual Command platform.

This suite of imaging, navigation, and visual communication applications is designed to enhance firefighter safety and efficiency.

For further information, the “Picturing the Future of Firefighting” article provides additional details on the technology and includes a video featuring responder testimonials.

Assessment and testing process for firefighters

The OFA for C-THRU was carried out at the San Diego Fire-Rescue Training Facility in San Diego, California.

Eight firefighter evaluators participated in the assessment, using C-THRU while performing typical fire response and Incident Command tasks.

These tasks included searching for heat sources, conducting search-and-rescue operations, and running Incident Command operations.

During the assessment, evaluators employed various techniques such as duck walks, leg forward movements, and crawling while stretching the hose line.

They also searched for downed firefighters and managed real-time feeds through the C-THRU Navigator, facilitating direct communication and action requests.

Conducting the operational field assessment for fire response

The National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) collaborated with DHS S&T to conduct the OFA.

DHS S&T engages closely with the emergency response community to identify mission capability gaps and expedite the development of critical technological solutions for responders.

As new technologies like C-THRU approach completion, NUSTL evaluates their capabilities and operational suitability through field assessments.

The OFA of C-THRU represents a significant step towards integrating advanced technology into firefighting operations, potentially enhancing the safety and effectiveness of fire response efforts.

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