The Story Behind Prometheus

Just a few days after completing a two-week deployment on the Tres Lagunas Fire in the Santa Fe National Forest in June of 2013 (a major, Type 1 incident), the team received news that 19 fellow firefighters, 18 from the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew,  had perished during operations on the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona.  Cut off from their escape route, they were quickly overrun by the fire.  Stunned at this horrific loss of life, the team envisioned the creation of a global surveillance network that would maintain a guaranteed communications link between the firefighter and Incident Command.   As news of just how preventable those deaths should have been, and how a simple yet crucial piece of information could be missing from such a complex operation, the scope of the project expanded to become a comprehensive Wildland Fire Incident Management System.  Now, after 3 years of design development and testing, this new system is ready for a full deployment.  Prometheus’ Shield will not only revolutionize the way wildland fires are managed, it will offer firefighters and emergency responders an unprecedented level of personal protection.  We decided to name something this powerful after the Greek God who gave mortals fire.  Prometheus.

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On that fateful day in June, 19 firefighters lost their lives because Incident Command was missing a critical, yet very basic piece of information – their location. To understand the significance of this tragedy, and at the same time get a glimpse at the basis of the solution, please take the time to watch this video report of the investigation.  It honors them to know their story, and to help prevent it from happening again.

The Yarnell Hill Tragedy – 30 June 2013

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