Funding needed for wearable tracking device for first responders

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Five years ago, the Brazos Valley lost a pair of heroes. Bryan firefighters Lieutenant Greg Pickard and Lieutenant Eric Wallace died fighting a fire at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Since 2015, ResponderX, a local company created by first responders, has been working to make sure that tragedy never happens again.

"I use it to motivate me all the time," said Andrew Jarrett, the President of ResponderX.

They developed the TaskForceTracker. The device will be used to help track the locations of firefighters entering a burning building. It will also help monitor things like temperature pressure and if the firefighters have fallen or stopped moving.

"Mounted on the firetrucks and ambulances parked outside, we have what we call hubs. These communicate with the wearable," said Jarrett.

Jarrett said currently, the way first responders are tracked is pretty low tech.

"The way we track people right now is with little velcro tags that we attach to our helmets, and we just hand them over and say, 'Here. I'm AJ and I'm here, said Jarrett.

Currently, the company has a prototype and is working to get local investor on board and raise $500,000.

The Bryan Fire Department, as well as several others across the country, have already agreed to pilot the device.