FiRST takes its next step with AI intelligence keeping firefighters on track

By 8th March 2019Blog, News

STS Defence Limited have won the opportunity to take part in phase one of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services, GovTech Challenge. Selected as one of 5 companies, out of 49 that competed, putting STS Defence in the top 10% of innovators recognised for location tracking technology. The aim is to develop an instantly deployable real time tracking solution for firefighters within buildings at operational incidents.

Group Manager Steve McLinden, Transformation2020 Programme Lead, explains that “Each year UK fire and rescue service attend over 55,000 incidents inside buildings or structures. However, they are currently unable to accurately monitor and track a firefighting crew’s location within a structure in real-time. The challenge for firefighters and all Emergency Responders is gaining real-time situational awareness and being able to reliably track personnel in the open and know their location, including floor level, within a building.”

Robert Matthews, Business Development Manager at STS Defence comments “This is a challenge! Indoor location is considered to be a “Holy Grail” for firefighter around the world and we are positive that our expertise in embedded AI technology will help to provide a solution that revolutionises firefighter safety in the built environment.”

The basis of our expertise has been  the development  of FiRST – Firefighter Rescue and Support Technology®. The project started in early 2014 in response to firefighter fatalities at fire incidents aimed to substantially increase firefighter safety. Now this award winning, innovative, FiRST technology has been granted a UK Patent with further Patent applications pending in Europe, China and the USA,

The initial phase of research and engineering trials for FiRST yielded a proven, AI-enabled, wearable unit that consistently pre-warns firefighters of dangerous temperature events, such as flashover. This unit saw extensive trials through 2018 with ten UK fire services, the Fire Service College, and a US Fire Training College.

Robert Matthews continued “Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) were a trial partner of FiRST technology, showing great enthusiasm and commitment to support innovation. We are really looking forward to continuing to build on this success and working with MAWWFRS’s Transformation 2020 Team to develop an Indoor location solution with our partners, which will ultimately further improve firefighter and wider first responder safety and situational awareness”.


Dr David Garrity, Chief Technology Officer added “STS Defence are working in partnership with a global supplier of firefighter breathing apparatus, who will incorporate recent developments in indoor location technologies, including further AI algorithms into the FiRST wearable unit. The key driver here is to produce a proof of concept of a complete AI-enabled firefighter system, to further improve firefighter’s situati onal awareness and that of their incident commanders, in keeping with the original ambitious goals of FiRST”

If you want more information on this, visit the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue News Here: