Motorola Targets Firefighters

Associated Press Writer

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) -- Motorola Inc. is introducing a new mobile communications system designed specially for firefighters, intended to make it easier for commanders to account for personnel at emergency scenes.

Motorola said the system will provide better radio coverage on the scene and in buildings when it becomes available next year, with future features to include rescue tracking capability and a self-contained breathing apparatus.

The Fireground Communications System was announced Friday in conjunction with the start of the Fire-Rescue International Conference in Kansas City, where it is being demonstrated.

Each system radio automatically reports the user's radio ID, which can be configured to display name, position and assignment on a mobile command terminal.

A firefighter in trouble can push an emergency button that activates an alarm on the mobile command terminal. The commander also can transmit a signal to all radios alerting users to the presence of immediate danger.

Motorola vice president Mike Worthington, general manager of its Global Safety and Security Solutions division, called it a significant step forward for firefighter safety.

Motorola is the biggest U.S. manufacturer of cell phones and other wireless devices.

In midday trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, Motorola shares were down 44 cents at $13.09.