Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Racing against time: New tool available for rapidly rescuing those trapped beneath concrete

Date:
September 25, 2011
Source:
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology
Summary:
When the World Trade Center's Twin Towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2011, one of the most critical challenges that first responders faced was cutting through concrete to get to victims trapped. A new tool has been developed to help rescue those trapped beneath concrete.

CIRT busted an 18-inch diameter hole through this six-inch slab of reinforced concrete in just under 3 ฝ minutes in an Aug. 30 demonstration conducted at the Technologies for Critical Incident Preparedness Conference in Washington, D.C.
Credit: DHS S&T

When the twin towers collapsed on September 11, 2011, one of the most critical challenges that first responders faced was cutting through concrete to get to victims trapped under debris -- a painful and tedious race against time when tragedy strikes. Breaching reinforced concrete has long been a losing race when relying on drills, saws, and jackhammers.

The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has developed a new tool to help fire departments and search-and-rescue teams overcome these challenges caused by fallen in natural and human-made disasters.

In 2007, S&T spearheaded the development of the Controlled Impact Rescue Tool (CIRT™), designed to cut through concrete with speed and precision. The CIRT uses blank ammunition cartridges to drive a piston that generates a high-energy jolt to create a contained hole in the concrete. A series of these holes allows the creation of an area large enough to deliver vital supplies such as food, water and medicine to victims before first responders are able to get victims to safety.

The force generated by the CIRT is concentrated in a localized area, minimizes threats to the safety of survivors and the potential destabilization of the surrounding structure. CIRT is the size of a small suitcase and weighs approximately 100 pounds, making it mobile enough for a pair of rescuers to hold against a wall, yet heavy enough to limit recoil that can cause injury. It is capable of breaching a reinforced concrete wall up to four times faster than traditional methods.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has already acquired six CIRT units to add to their search-and-rescue capabilities. S&T also plans to distribute CIRT units to municipal search-and-rescue teams in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Seattle, Fairfax County and Virginia Beach, Va., and Texas Disaster Cityฎ, a training ground used by urban search-and- rescue (USAR) specialists.

In 2008, Popular Science magazine identified S&T's concrete-blasting lifesaver as a "Best of What's New."

"That pleased us, but since then, we've refined the design to make it even more affordable for urban search-and-rescue teams across the nation," says Jalal Mapar, project manager of S&T's Infrastructure Protection & Disaster Management Division. CIRT has now completed all phases on research, development, testing and evaluation, and is currently being manufactured by Raytheon, S&T's research partner on this project.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology. "Racing against time: New tool available for rapidly rescuing those trapped beneath concrete." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110921093604.htm>.
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology. (2011, September 25). Racing against time: New tool available for rapidly rescuing those trapped beneath concrete. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110921093604.htm
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology. "Racing against time: New tool available for rapidly rescuing those trapped beneath concrete." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110921093604.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins