Real-Time Emergency Communication System for HazMat Incidents (REaCH) - Phase III

This research project addresses two issues related to the health of transportation workers, first responders and the public in the presence of hazardous materials: (1) Real-time information on the exposure of hazardous materials to transportation workers and first responders during hazardous material incidents is lacking. (2) Currently, the ability to identify and communicate information regarding hazardous material incidents in real time to all stakeholders is limited. At the end of this five-year project, the research team will develop a prototype for a statewide technology system that includes wearable sensor devices, mobile apps and a real-time communication network for stakeholders that can be used during a hazardous materials incident. The new system is called REaCH - Real-Time Emergency Communication System for HazMat Incidents. The REaCH system will include real-time health monitoring of transportation workers and first responders through wearable devices that capture individual health parameters and exposure to hazardous materials. Individual health data and hazmat exposure data will be transmitted to a dashboard that integrates all of the information for the incident commander to monitor. The incident commander can evaluate if individuals need to be removed from the scene for example, if his or her health status is being compromised, with the goal of minimizing any health-related consequences.