LUNAR® Connected Device: A Search and Rescue Tool Enhancing Mutual Aid Responses

For years, the fire service industry has faced challenges in notifying firefighters when an incident has occurred, informing them of the details they need to make confident decisions and locate a downed firefighter. Search and rescue challenges are amplified in mutual aid responses without accountability tools that work across departments.

LUNAR Connected Device Can Help

MSA’s LUNAR Connected Device is a handheld, wireless personal accountability device that can be used for search and rescue in mutual aid responses. Intuitive and easy to use, it keeps teams connected, enables enhanced vision, increased situational awareness, and accountability for everyone on scene.

LUNAR devices being used by different fire departments during a mutual aid response communicate with each other and have the ability to search for other devices in alarm. This connectivity is accomplished through the independent, self-forming ad hoc LUNAR search network, which is an always-on connection between all active LUNAR devices in a network—the LUNAR-to-LUNAR network. It operates as a standalone system, completely independent of radio communication, cell reception, or any other connection, and active without the assistance of Incident Command—it’s even designed to work in challenging infrastructure.


Screenshot 2023-09-21 144149

The ad hoc network supports search and rescue operations using LUNAR’s Firefighting Assisting Search Technology (F.A.S.T.) that combines direction and distance information with thermal imaging to help find teammates in alarm and aid in decreasing response time. F.A.S.T. can be used both inside and outside the structure. Using it internally can help aid in eliminating rooms and floors to reduce search time. Using it externally while doing a 360 of the structure, Collaborative Search can help identify the best entry point, which is critical in any search and rescue operation.

When an alarm is activated by any LUNAR device on scene, an instant notification goes to all devices in the LUNAR-to-LUNAR network. Up to four firefighters that are within a half mile in line of sight are able to start searching for the firefighter whose LUNAR device is in alarm.

When conducting a search, the LUNAR device conveys many pieces of information to the searching firefighter:

  • Distance Measurement – As a searcher moves closer to the downed firefighter, the LUNAR device displays distance as more than 90 feet away, within 90 feet, within 60 feet, and less than 30 feet away. In addition to the numerical value, there are correlating indicator rings that highlight the distance from the device in alarm. The arcs are directly correlated to the approximate distance from the LUNAR device in alarm. As the searching firefighter gets closer to the downed firefighter, the inside arcs are illuminated.
  • Directional Visual Indicator – As the LUNAR device is pointed in the direction closest to the device it’s searching for, the percentage indicator increases from zero to 100, with 100 being the strongest source of the signal and the ideal direction to head in
  • Directional Strength – While the searching firefighter checks from side-to-side or up-and-down, the color of the directional indicator will change from dark blue to light blue as the signal strength increases – the lighter the color, the stronger the signal.
  • Thermography – The thermography indicator shows the temperature of the surface or an object at the center of the thermal image.

Because of the LUNAR-to-LUNAR network that independently connects all devices, search can be conducted between different responding departments and enhance accountability.

Accountability features of the LUNAR device include:

  • Wireless accountability for multiple jobs and various calls, even off air
  • Search and rescue technology to aid in finding a downed team member in alarm
  • Enhanced thermal imaging
  • Communicated alarm status: manual, motion, and hardware

The LUNAR Connected Device is an easy-to-use accountability tool that firefighters can use to help aid in protecting and assisting one another in their own department and in mutual aid responses.

Free Grant Assistance

The LUNAR device is eligible for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program, State Homeland Security Grant Programs, Emergency Management Performance Grants, and other funding.

Read more about free grant assistance for the LUNAR device as a personnel accountability system.


Related Articles

See All Articles