News Releases and Media Advisories

Zephyr Technology and Globe Fire Apparel

Zephyr Technology and Globe Fire Apparel

Annapolis, MD – 4/5/12 – The Annapolis Fire Department is finding new ways to safeguard its firefighters by avoiding overexertion and heat injuries.

Zephyr Technology, an Annapolis based company, has developed equipment that monitors a person’s heart and respiration rates, ambient and core body temperature as well as body positioning and other vital signs data.  The Annapolis Fire Department is collaborating with Zephyr Technology and Globe Fire Apparel to test the new monitoring equipment.

“This new technology gives the department the ability to remotely monitor the firefighter’s condition as they wear hazardous material suits and fire fighting gear.”  Fire Chief David Stokes said.  “This is a revolutionary advancement in our ability to ensure the safety of our firefighters as they push their bodies to extremes.”

The fire department will use this data to monitor responders in an effort to prevent heat and overexertion injuries.  In the past, the only option to minimize injury was to use work and rest cycles to keep personnel from becoming dangerously overheated and exhausted.

The monitoring equipment is installed in something as simple as a chest strap or a t-shirt that is worn by the responder. “This equipment is non-invasive and comfortable to wear,” AFD Battalion Chief John Menassa said.  “After a few moments you tend to forget its there.”  The real time data is sent via radios to a remote location such as an incident command post.

The monitoring equipment can also utilize the Blue-tooth features of a smart phone and link to Internet based vital signs monitoring programs.  Products developed by Zephyr Technology Corp. are commercially available and have many applications including sport and fitness, law enforcement and military.

In the coming months, the Annapolis Fire Department will develop data and incorporate this equipment into its daily operations.