The first of its kind – A smart mask for Firefighters

by Dhiram Shah


The future of firefighting will move closer to reality at this week’s FDIC International show in Indianapolis with the launch of Scott Sight, a new in-mask thermal intelligence system for firefighters from Scott Safety, the life safety products business of Tyco International (NYSE: TYC). This new technology is designed to improve firefighter safety by providing the real-time benefits of thermal imaging in plain sight of all firefighters.

Firefighters have used hand-held thermal imaging cameras since the 1990s to see through the thick smoke often encountered during fires. Advancements in thermal imaging technology have now reduced the size of the components and enabled new applications. Scott Sight’s revolutionary design integrates a lightweight camera and display in the firefighter’s mask, keeping the thermal image in view at all times.

“This enhanced capability is the direct result of a need expressed by firefighters to have thermal imaging technology that’s more accessible and easier to use,” said Jeff Emery, director of global marketing with Tyco’s Scott Safety business. “Tyco has invested heavily in developing innovative solutions for the fire services, reflecting our deep commitment to the firefighter community. It’s personally fulfilling for the Scott Safety team when we can introduce advancements like Scott Sight that will better protect the firefighters and enable them to work more effectively in challenging environments.”

The idea for Scott Sight was born from collaborative discussions with firefighters. Scott’s ultimate customers consistently communicated a need for every firefighter to have increased visibility in dark environments. Scott Sight supplements existing hand-held technology by offering individualized visibility that allows the firefighter to quickly move through rooms, locate potential victims, and easily identify doors and windows for escape. With Scott Sight, hands are left free to perform other critical operations, representing a significant shift in fire safety operations and equipment.

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Scott Sight is the first commercial product resulting from the company’s Firefighter of the Future initiative, an internal “lean startup” team that began in 2014. This team operates in a specially-designed “technology garage” and is tasked with developing innovative solutions that improve firefighter safety and contribute to a more rapid and accurate development of situational awareness – something Scott Safety refers to as Situational Intelligence.

“Making thermal imaging accessible was a first step,” stated Kim Henry, director of growth initiatives for Scott Safety and the leader of the Firefighter of the Future team. “One of the key challenges we faced was to create an adjustable, sleek design that wouldn’t interfere with the firefighter’s personal protection equipment, field of view or scene hazards. Scott Sight addresses those challenges, while creating a platform that will expand to offer additional capabilities in the future. We are proud of the final product and excited to showcase Scott Sight at FDIC.”

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