USA — As the late months of summer heat up, the gloom of Fire Season is on the minds of many living in the Wildland Urban Interface areas of the United States. Firefighters have prepared all season for these types of events, and now, as recent fires in Texas have shown, Fire Season is upon us. Throughout the west coast of the United States, fire departments are increasing staffing levels and preparedness for an expected lightning and wind storm event this evening. Lightning and wind are two of the most feared natural events firefighters face. As tonight’s red flag warnings go into effect, firefighters have a new tool for finding lightning fires before they are too large to fight.
Over the last several months, the staff at FireWhat Incorporated has been working to provide the most accurate weather and fire information to the field. FireWhat.com allows firefighters to see where red flag warnings are taking place and even see satellite tracking of new fires. The attached picture shows a screenshot of some of the features that are available on the website — including severe weather forecasts, fire detection, active fire perimeter tracking, and live weather readings.
FireWhat has teamed up with another local Dunsmuir company, Pusher, to develop a mobile version of the website’s fire tracking technology. The up-coming mobile application will provide lifesaving information for firefighters, responders, and residents of fire prone areas. Together the team has collaborated with industry leaders, technical gurus, and business analysts to develop the most state of the art mobile application available to firefighters. The FireWhat Widland iOS App will provide current weather conditions at the scene of major incidents. Additionally, the application receives satellite imagery downlink of fires nationwide. As information becomes available, the FireWhat app will provide perimeter tracking and Google Map imagery to direct responders and commanders to areas in highest danger.
For the first time ever, wildland and structural, paid and volunteer firefighters will have pre-arrival incident information. Currently, firefighters receive little to no information prior to arriving at the scene of a wildland fire. The FireWhat app will give responders visibility of homes in the area, creeks for water sources and areas for staging before they even arrive on scene. With this app, firefighters and commanders will be able to make pre-arrival considerations, allowing more time for critical life-saving decisions. The vital information provided by this app will save lives and property and will reduce responder errors in a critical time of need.
The application will also feature a suite of wildland applications for firefighters in the field. Common guides, safety check lists and procedures have been built into the app. The application will also host fire behavior calculators that will help firefighters understand how the fire will burn, in what direction, and how intense the expected fire behavior may be based on manual data input.
In the coming weeks, FireWhat Inc. will release the first version of the application on the Apple iOS Platform. The application will be available through the Apple App Store. FireWhat Inc. does plan to release the application across all platforms/devices prior to the 2012 fire season. Many innovations are on the horizon, and version 2, 3, 4, and 5 are already in the works.
About FireWhat Inc. FireWhat Inc. is a start-up company founded by an MIT grad and two professional firefighters. FireWhat’s mission is to provide a professional platform that inspires the highest quality of emergency service training and education. Through development of web and mobile products, FireWhat Inc. seeks to update the antiquated delivery of emergency services training and to incorporate innovation into a technology-deprived industry.