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Project54, Where Are You?

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
August 4, 2010

The Town of Lee uses Project54 technology in its police cruisers. Beth Potier photos.

Lights flashing ... radios squawking ... danger lurking around each corner. First responders and law enforcement officers are among the most distracted drivers on the road, but UNH’s Project54 is helping to change that. At a day-long workshop last week (Wednesday, July 28, 2010), Project54 engineers demonstrated the latest innovations in their hands-free and integrated technologies for police, fire and other emergency vehicles.

“We’re always asking, ‘how can we make this better for first responders?’” says Project54 director Andrew Kun, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. “Less distraction and access to data in the field are the big wins.”

Peter Henney, paramedic with the Durham Fire Department, showcases the department’s new first response vehicle; the Project54 technology lets him search for information on hazardous materials with voice commands.

Durham fire captain Dave Emanuel and paramedic Peter Henney were among the 50 first responders who attended the workshop. They brought the department’s new first response medical vehicle, recently equipped with Project54 technology, and demonstrated its features to their colleagues. Emanuel lauded an automated Department of Transportation guide to hazardous materials that will let a first responder state by voice a chemical they come upon – for instance, chlorine spilled from a truck on Route 4 – to produce a thorough list of that chemical’s health, fire and explosion risks.

Since its launch in 1999, Project54 has equipped more than 1,000 law enforcement vehicles with its technology.

Greenland police officer David LoConte demonstrates the Project54 technology that enhances his motorcycle.

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