Jim Cast Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1779) June Malone/Bob Lessels Marshall Space Flight

Center, AL (Phone: 205/544-0034) RELEASE: 95-51

April 19, 1995

NASA, CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT SIGN AGREEMENT Fire fighting could be safer and more efficient in the future thanks to an agreement signed today between NASA and the City of Chicago. The agreement opens the door for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, and the Chicago Fire Department to work together to apply space program technologies to improving fire fighting and other emergency services. Fire Commissioner Raymond E. Orozco met with NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and Marshall Director Porter Bridwell in Chicago at 2 p.m. CDT today to sign the Space Act agreement. They also began discussing various technologies that could be transferred to the department to enhance fire and other emergency services. "The Chicago Fire Department is a strong innovator in testing, developing and adopting new methodologies and technologies for emergency services," said Goldin. "NASA is looking forward to working with them to explore ways space technology can be used to enhance emergency services. Ultimately, it will be the American people who benefit from what we accomplish here." A number of candidate activities have already been identified for joint study. The Chicago firefightersÕ principal interest is in developing a personnel locator system which will enable on-scene authorities to locate, track and, if necessary, rescue firefighters within a 2,400foot area of operations. This also would enhance the command and control capabilities of senior people directing

fire-fighting operations. Chicago's second priority is in having NASA, through its Marshall Center, attempt to adapt dynamic structural analysis techniques to determine if a structure is in imminent danger of collapse. Such a device might be able to provide in real time the vibration "signature" of a structure. Studies have indicated that there is a "signature" change prior to a structure collapsing. Such a device would provide fire officials with a means of determining when a structure has to be evacuated by firefighters, potentially saving them from harm. The Chicago Fire Department also is interested in developing a new portable air-breathing apparatus for use by firefighters. The current device has several drawbacks including expense, weight and a long activation time. NASAÕs knowledge of liquid oxygen technology will form the basis for an evaluation of the feasibility of using liquid oxygen in a new breathing apparatus. Other research possibilities include identifying the location of an emergency 911 call made from a cellular telephone, and developing the capability to warn hearing impaired drivers of an approaching emergency vehicle. The Marshall Center already has been working on such an Emergency Vehicle Alerting System. This device would assist drivers with hearing loss and those operating in a high noise environment, such as a school bus full of children. The system would alert the driver and provide information on the emergency vehicle's distance and direction of approach. - endNASA press releases and other information are available automatically by sending an Internet electronic mail message to domo@hq.nasa.gov. In the body of the message (not the subject line) users should type the words "subscribe pressrelease" (no quotes). The system will reply with a confirmation via E-mail of each subscription. A second automatic message will include additional information on the service. Questions should be directed to (202) 358-4043.