There are many ways the Northern Star will increase your safety. There are probably ways that firefighters will utilize the Northern Star that we have not even thought of yet. At a minimum the Northern Star will have two primary functions: quick and efficient exiting of the structure – and – increased situational awareness allowing faster navigation within the structure.
When you enter an unfamiliar structure with limited visibility, we identify the structure using the designation system of A, B, C and D. However, once inside a low visibility environment, a firefighter quickly loses their orientation making the alphabetical designation useless. How can I find my secondary egress on the Bravo side if I don’t know which direction I need to travel to find the Bravo side? By taking a quick second before entering a structure, a firefighter can identify that they are entering the alpha/WEST side of the structure. Now, when you need to find the Bravo side for secondary egress, you know you’ll have to travel North to find your exit.
Similarly, when your IC gives you the order to proceed to the Charlie side to extinguish a hot spot, rather than guessing which way the Charlie side is, through the use of the Northern Star, you’ll know confidentially that you need to travel east. It’s a simple concept but one that is not available in the fire service; that is until today. The Northern Star changes that at an affordable cost.