Wearable tech to save the lives of firefighters

21 February 2023

A cost-effective invention aimed at preventing up to half of all firefighter deaths each year is being developed as part of a University of Queensland entrepreneurship program.

Tiarna McElligott
Tiarna McElligott

Faculty of Science student Tiarna McElligott is designing wearable exertion monitoring technology as the youngest participant in UQ’s ilab Accelerator program.

“The project started when I was told during a visit to a fire station that it wasn’t flames or falling buildings that killed firefighters, it was physical stress but there was no way to track it,” Ms McElligott said.

“Overexertion was responsible for 54% of firefighter deaths on the job in the US in 2020.

“I’m making something that is compatible with existing clothing and equipment and keeps track of the warning signs of overexertion.

"It will monitor heart rate, blood oxygen concentration and body temperature.

“It’s designed to alert the wearer to take action well before they’re aware that they're on a slope towards being in trouble.

"It will work when they’re so absorbed in their demanding job that they may not recognise the warning signs.”

Read the full article on UQ News

Tirana McElligott will be participating in the ilab Accelerator Pitch Night, Thursday 23 March. 

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