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INDIANAPOLIS–The Fire Department Instructors Conference, happening this week in downtown Indianapolis, will provide an opportunity for first responders from all over the world to see some new innovations in technology that could help keep you safe.

One new piece of technology comes from 3AM Innovations, in Buffalo, New York. FDIC organizer Bobby Halton said the company has figured out a solution to help firefighters locate each other easily, with GPS.

LISTEN Bobby Halton and Chris Majors talk new innovations at FDIC

“The problem is, is you go vertically up the GPS will nail your location, but not your height. So, now these kids have figured that out,” said Halton. The device can get both a horizontal and vertical fix on a person, which can help if they are stuck or are trying to help someone out of a building.

Another company has figured out how to make thermal imaging more effective.

“These young men and women have created technology that gives us outlines of the thermal signatures. So, doors now have the outline of a door or a window a window,” said Halton. That innovation comes from Quake Technologies. “If you’re inside a fire and you can’t see anything and suddenly you see the outline of a door, that just saved your life.”

Halton said the tech doesn’t stop with firefighters. Companies like Quake, work to develop ways to use the technology in everyday life.

“The innovations that people have come up with, that start off, as he mentioned the thermal imaging camera, those were very basic and rudimentary when they first came out,” said Indianapolis Fire Dept. Captain Chris Majors. “Nobody had them and they were expensive and big and clunky. Now we’ve seen them shrink in size but the technology has allowed them to have better pictures and more detail.”

And, they could soon be used to help people drive, suggested Halton.

“My vision is getting a little tough at night. Imagine soon my windscreen will have the outline of the important traffic features that I need to be able to identify as I’m going down the road,” he said.

Halton said firefighters will also be learning about new means of detecting tiny particles to warn people of gas leaks and fires sooner.

Halton said new technology in fighting fires in high-rises has also been developed, that allows firefighters to not only hook up to water coming from stand pipes in tall buildings, but now to hook up to air to fill their bottles while fighting fires, freeing them from having to carry all of the large and bulky bottles they have to carry now, and to use some of their oxygen to possibly help trapped people.

Tomorrow you’ll find out how having the firefighters conference in Indianapolis helps the state.