A video shows Australian firefighters driving through bushfires. They're using tech made by Baltimore's Adashi Systems - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Jan. 10, 2020 4:52 pm

A video shows Australian firefighters driving through bushfires. They’re using tech made by Baltimore’s Adashi Systems

The ETC-based company has been working with Fire and Rescue New South Wales since 2011. Here's how its software played a role in a harrowing rescue.
Video shows Adashi Systems’ technology being used to fight brushfires in New South Wales, Australia.

Video shows Adashi Systems' technology being used to fight brushfires in New South Wales, Australia.

(Courtesy photo)

The video shows a world on fire.

Filmed from inside a fire truck in New South Wales, Australia, it shows sparks flying at the windshield as the vehicle hurtles forward on a road that is entirely covered by smoke. When the camera pans to the view of the side window, it shows towers of flames.

“Jasper, put the blanket up,” one firefighter shouts, calling for protection from flames that are so close they may enter the truck.

Amid all the flames, viewers of the video may notice that a tablet is mounted beside the driver. The software they are using, made by Baltimore tech company Adashi Systems, is helping them to navigate as they escaped the fire.

Posted on Dec. 31 by Fire and Rescue New South Wales Commissioner Paul Baxter, the scene shows firefighters escaping as they battled raging bushfires in Australia. It has 7.8 million views on Twitter. Baxter told The Australian that crews were unharmed, though two fire trucks were lost in the incident. The fires have been burning across Australia in the weeks since, attracting worldwide attention. A total of 27 people died nationwide and 2,000 homes in New South Wales were destroyed, CNN reported.

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Called FirstResponse MDT, which is short for Mobile Data Terminal, the ETC-based company’s product is built into vehicles. Along with guiding the best route to get to the scene, it integrates information from dispatch systems and has a dashboard with important info such as building plans and necessary checklists.

Adashi works with first responder agencies around the world. The company started working with Fire and Rescue NSW in 2011, and all of its more than 700 trucks were equipped with the software.

In the incident shown in the video, the firefighters in the truck were on their way to rescue another crew, according to a second video showing interviews with firefighters. That crew got trapped en route to joining two other crews after encountering a fire that left their truck unable to move and later caught fire itself.

“The crew grabbed the MDT and got out of the truck quickly,” said Adashi President Sanjay Kalasa. “Since all fire trucks in New South Wales use the Adashi software and technology, they could see nearby fire trucks on the map and started walking towards them and were finally rescued.”

Recently, a representative from the department called CEO Alex Menkes to thank him. The representative said the software is helping to save lives.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work that Adashi Systems, Alex and his team are doing every day to save lives, but this truly attests to the hard work they do and how important their work is and how important Baltimore is to that work,” said ETC President Deb Tillett.

The company moved into ETC in 2012, and has been part of the Baltimore Development Corporation-sponsored tech hub’s IncubateBaltimore program. It has a total of four software products, including one for the administrative side of public safety.

“Adashi Systems is showcasing to the world the wonderful, cutting-edge technology being developed in the City of Baltimore.” Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said in a statement. “We’re proud of the vibrant tech scene in Baltimore and proud to have a Baltimore company whose products are helping to save lives in the devastating fires in Australia.”

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