Sensing and Tracking Systems for Training of Damage Control and Fire Fighting Teams

Company Profile

SEFtec is a world-leader in the production of robust, reliable & cost-effective safety training simulators and facilities for the world’s leading training centres. The company produces clean-burn, propane-fuelled fire training simulators that provide realistic, repeatable and safe fire-training environments. The Seftec container-stack Fire Training Units (FTU) are large-scale, complex fire training units which offer flexible training iterations to challenge even the most advanced fire fighters. The company has delivered world-class training simulators and facilities to every corner of the globe. Their equipment is manufactured at their state-of-the-art facility in Co. Cork.

Technology needs of the company

Seftec Ltd recognised that a significant market opportunity exists for smart FTU training systems and sought to collaborate with the TEC Centre and NMCI (both CIT) to create and validate these systems. Seftec wants to offer a solution based on location tracking and visualisation capability for training DCFF staff. This capability will give Seftec a sustainable advantage in a highly competitive sector. This opportunity is recognised by the Irish Navy, who agreed to evaluate the technology with a view to purchasing the resultant product if the project outcome is successful.

What TEC Centre can do

The TEC Centre carries out research into areas such as Infrastructure Security & Personal Safety Systems. In this context, providing smart systems solutions for effective DCFF training will inform the Institute’s research on location technologies, visualisation, reliability of electronics and the internet of things. TEC Centre can bring relevant skillsets together from Departments such as Electronic Engineering, NMCI, Mechanical Engineering, Computing and Media Communication are working with each other to meet Seftec’s requirements.

How TEC Centre delivered

TEC Centre delivered a new multi-modal system capable of tracking and locating personnel undergoing DCFF (Damage Control and Fire Fighting) training. It uses location sensors combining several different wireless and inertial technologies and applies software-oriented approaches to create new visualisation techniques. The TEC Centre was able to offer Seftec ground-breaking technology which currently does not exist in the market.

Impact of the project for the Company 

SEFtec believes that this technology will increase their range of offerings in relation to the fire training systems. Integral to live fire training is the development of an environment where visibility is reduced and temperature increased where it can be difficult to track the progress of a student at all times. There are also a further range of training courses based around search and rescues where the environment would be similar to that of firefighting but the emphasis would be on recovering casualties as opposed to fighting fire.

The training above is carried out in many different ways and in many different geographical regions spread across industries from oil and gas to pharma and from civil defence to military. The common thread is that safety and welfare of the delegate is always paramount and this system will allow them to track and monitor the position and telemetric data on the welfare of the delegate.

There is currently no system in place to carry out this function and the company believes that this add-on to their existing fire training units and search and rescue devices will be taken up immediately in the market place. They are seeing this sector of our business as currently the one with the most growth potential and are currently in negotiations with two large international clients for equipment and services in the 20 million plus euro bracket.

The tracking technology offered as an add-on to this type of system for a relatively small cost will enhance their ability to win these types of contracts and should allow Seftec to expand its products and services as well as increase employment numbers.

Company Testimonial (Darren O’Sullivan, Director, Seftec)

The Technology developed and tested to date will represent a major step forward for both the quality of training delivered and the safety of the trainees and instructors in what traditionally has been a low tech and relatively high risk training environment.

SEFtec believe that this will represent a real commercial opportunity and that a market exists for this technology.

This project has been funded by an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership.