Participants and judges in the Tech to Protect Challenge’s Seattle edition spent this past weekend coding in Amazon’s Doppler building. (Greg Scruggs Photo)
In the late 1990s, Barry Luke responded to a house call in Gainesville, Fla. The firefighter and his partner went to the back of the house, where a leaking liquefied petroleum gas tank was shooting flames 30 feet into the air. Luke tried to call for backup help on his radio — to no avail.
“We needed immediate support and our radios didn’t work because we didn’t realize that the back of the house was down the slope off the street level where there was no radio coverage,” Luke said.
Finding solutions to dangerous situations such as Luke’s dilemma was the focus of a weekend long codeathon in Seattle, part of a national effort to innovate tech solutions to the needs of first responders.
About 20 coders spent a sunny Seattle weekend inside Amazon’s Doppler Building in an effort to win cash prizes — and help first responders save lives — at the Emerald City edition of the Tech to Protect Challenge.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, the contest will ultimately distribute up …read more