KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An invention by a retired Knox County firefighter helped keep crews from overheating while fighting wildfires earlier this month.
For days, crews worked around the clock to contain the flames in Wears Valley and Seymour. One of the biggest dangers for these firefighters is not the flames but the heat.
Michael Robinson is a former Rural Metro firefighter, who about a decade ago, invented the HeatSeeker. This device helps crews beat the heat. It’s a misting device that can help lower your body temperature by about 30 degrees.
He handed them out for free to crews during the wildfires to make sure they stayed safe.
“It was extremely important for us to cool off and help us get back into battles with fires because heat exhaustion and heart attacks are one of the number one killers of firefighters,” said Robinson.
Robinson was a firefighter for 29 years in Knox County and tells us all three of his sons have served as firemen at one point. He’s made it his mission to keep crews safe while on the job.