Success Stories

Since our inception in 2004, the FirstLink organization has achieved success on over 120 projects, facilitating the advancement of first responder technologies. Here are a few examples of how we have accomplished our mission:

RadioEar Demonstration and Evaluation
Posted On: 4/3/2009 3:29:34 PM
Firefighters entered a controlled burning structure while utilizing the RadioEar hands-free, helmet-mounted bone conduction communication system. The system is being improved by Sensory Devices under a CRADA with the Army Research Laboratory. Allegheny County Fire Training Academy hosted the evaluation which was conducted by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire.

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Keywords: radio communications bone conduction fire fighting helmet
RadioEar Demonstration



Fast Radio Tested in Security Demo
Posted On: 8/19/2008
FirstLink helped a small commercial provider of public alert radios and emergency alert devices demonstrate their technology to the U.S. Army during a special emergency exercise. Based in Southwestern PA, Sima Products Corporation offers an array of small consumer electronics accessories related to home theaters, video, cameras, and weather radios. Their latest development is a novel, consumer-priced, emergency alert radio capable of receiving configurable text messages, which can be targeted to highly specific geographic or demographic recipients. Emergency managers could securely generate and send customized messages using an online interface and database, which then get broadcast over special FM radio bands.
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Decision Software Support
Posted On: 8/19/2008
The Studies Analysis and Gaming Division (SAGD) of the Department of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff is tasked with analyzing influences in order to understand the effects of actions, including military actions, that might be taken around the world. This effort is accomplished through war games conducted with relevant participants. Following a demonstration of technology from Decision Lens Inc., the SAGD approved a contract for Decision Lens to customize software as a decision support tool for identifying, assessing, and prioritizing joint U.S. military force capabilities.
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Robots Added to Lending Pool
Posted On: 8/19/2008
The Robotics Systems Pool of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center in San Diego, CA has seen increased activity in the loan of its robotic platforms and payloads from civilian first responder groups across the country. Under a new agreement with Mesa Robotics, Inc., SPAWAR will have new robots in its pool to support this increased demand.
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U.S. AFA Rotor Evaluations
Posted On: 8/19/2008
Helicopters produced by Erickson Air-Crane, Inc. have long been used for fire suppression (including the 2007 California inferno), disaster recovery, and search & rescue operations at both low and high altitudes. Their proven value in critical missions since the Vietnam era has enabled them to retain an important position in U.S. military and other air fleets. The company has recently introduced modifications to the helicopter's rotor and is further certifying new manufacturers for spare parts that have not been in production since the 1960's.
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Wind Tunnel Testing for IR System
Posted On: 8/19/2008
Infrared (IR) imaging technology enables users to "see heat". Though invisible to the naked eye, IR radiation is emitted by all objects and can be detected by cameras tuned to IR wavelengths. IR imagery is especially valuable in low or no light, and where heat is one of the few means to detect an object's presence, especially from a distance.
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Evaluating Insect Lures
Posted On: 8/19/2008
Entomologists at Walter Reed Army Institute for Research (WRAIR) will investigate promising technology being developed at APTIV, Inc. to advance the Army's research efforts on insects and their role in disease transmission. Explains Philipp Kirsch of APTIV, "One important element for preventing the spread of insect-borne diseases, naturally, is the early awareness obtained by monitoring insects that spread them. That can enable timely intervention." That would be greatly appreciated by soldiers in the Middle East, who are exposed to unpleasant diseases borne by sand flies, and by farmers in agricultural areas where pests may compromise crops. There is also concern that insects can be unleashed as a weapon to infect targeted populations.
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Information Sharing Tools
Posted On: 8/19/2008
The Air Force Research Laboratory's Information Directorate (AFRL) reached an agreement with Galois, Inc., which will enable Galois to collaborate on developments in secure data sharing across multiple security levels. Secure data sharing allows the emergency first responders and the warfighter timely access to pertinent information while protecting all other information at varying security levels. While solutions are currently deployed to meet this need, developments are sought which are more cost effective, more secure and easier to use, maintain and upgrade.
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New Barrier & Sign Kit for Check Points
Posted On: 8/19/2008
United Safety Response, Inc. (USR) of Franklin, TN has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to advance a Barrier and Sign Kit for use at vehicle check points. FirstLink helped the parties find each other and facilitated this development agreement.
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Threat Containment Unit for Suspected Explosives
Posted On: 8/19/2008
Washington, Pennsylvania-based Nabco, Inc., a leader in manufacturing explosion containment vessels for U.S. and foreign security agencies, has long desired to offer its products to Homeland Security and first responder markets. Recently, Nabco licensed from the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) the Threat Containment Unit (TCU), a device that will contain and transport packages suspected of harboring explosives or other threats. FirstLink facilitated this licensing agreement.
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Portable Combined Agent Fire Fighting System
Posted On: 8/19/2008
Both crashes and routine field operations such as refueling present a meaningful risk of fuel fire. Oftentimes, however, resources or logistics limit the ability to have adequate fire fighting equipment nearby.
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Robots for First Responders
Posted On: 8/19/2008
What do search and rescue teams in Southwestern Pennsylvania, fire fighters in California, and county emergency services groups in Pennsylvania share in common? Each is "toying" with an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) borrowed from the U.S. Navy. More than just toys, these robots can perform important actions, while reducing the safety risk for the First Responders whom operate them remotely.
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Electronics Testing for Mobile Sensor Systems
Posted On: 8/19/2008
Technology innovations are constantly improving the ease, safety and results of conducting intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in hazardous environments. One such innovation is a softball-sized, portable platform by MobileFusion, Inc., known as the Scout Ball™. It combines hardware and software in a small device that can be deployed by tossing, rolling or launching via ballistics into a targeted environment. The configurable Scout Ball platform uses various digital and analog sensors, yielding real time, wireless remote sensing and human detection that can benefit various military and first responder operations.
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Hospital Emergency Assistance Tool
Posted On: 8/19/2008
Instigated by the events of September 11, 2001, concerns have escalated about hospitals' readiness to respond to a sudden swell in patients involved in a domestic terrorist attack. The U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), part of the Naval Medical Command and its Navy Medical Research Center, has responded by developing the Hospital Emergency Assistance Tool (HEAT). HEAT provides a framework for determining the surge capacity of hospitals in a modeled crisis situation and further identifies deficits that may require planning attention.
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Bleeding System for Wound Training
Posted On: 8/19/2008
SKEDCO, Inc. of Tualatin, OR is commercializing a technology to provide enhanced realism for medical responders learning how to treat bleeding wounds in the field. The device, initially titled the Field Expedient Bleeding Simulation System (FEBSS), was the invention of Army Medic Trainer Sgt. Lynn Randall King, whom felt the existing training tools didn't recreate the stress and difficulty of real life hemorrhage control in the field. These prototypes can simulate several concurrent wounds, either mild or severe, from a venal nick to a pulsing arterial hemorrhage. Units are suited for retrofitting of typical mannequins already in use, or the systems can be worn by personnel in a role-playing exercise.
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Rugged Water Tight Computers
Posted On: 8/19/2008
Providing a rugged, washable mobile computer system to the Navy's SPAWAR Joint Robotics lending pool was the result of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) established with Aplus Mobile, Inc. FirstLink facilitated this CRADA by provided the necessary DoD contacts to Aplus Mobile, Inc., and worked with both parties to move the agreement to completion.
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