Big Interview – Michael Robinson

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michael robinson sr

Firefighter Michael Robinson Sr. shares with Fire Buyer how he helps reduce heat injuries and fatalities on the firegrounds around the globe 

Please introduce yourself and what you do?  

My name is Michael Robinson Sr. I have been in the fire service for 30 years and have three sons who were all in the fire service at one time. My oldest son is a Captain and Battalion Chief today. I was in two volunteer departments for my first 15 years in the service and another 15 years with Rural Metro Fire Knoxville TN. until my retirement last year because of my Heatseeker work. I was also a ladder operator for almost 10 years and also on the Hazmat team.  

You founded Heatseeker, what was the reasoning behind this and how does it help the firefighting community?  

Back in 2011 my partner almost died of heat stroke at a house fire. We saved him that day but it could have turned out differently. The next day I went to my truck and removed a 2.5″ blind cap from my discharge port and drilled it and added three misting nozzles. We now have an immediate cooling device to help us cool off on any scene! I never meant to sell the cap but before I knew it everyone wanted one. My captain came to my station to see it in action and when I charged the line it put out a cooling mist cloud about 8′ long and about 6′ in circumference. This is pushing out air and water cooling the area inside the mist cloud almost 30 degrees lower than the ambient temperature. This was huge for us to help lower temperatures. That day my Captain asked me to make one for every truck in our fleet, about 45 trucks & engines. I applied for a patent and within two weeks I had a letter back stating that I could start selling my product with a patent pending and within three months I was selling in the US and International. I have won many awards and passed two auditions with Shark Tank and now awaiting an air date. 

What is a rehab unit? 

We have different sizes and formal cooling stations that cool 5 firefighters at a time. Our units attach to any apparatus or hose line to help lower core body temperatures on fire scenes, training, ect… Always for fireground rehab as well. 

You have been a firefighter for almost 30 years, what drove you to the industry? 

I was born and raised in south Florida, Homestead. Back in 1992 we lost everything in hurricane Andrew and moved to Karns, TN. 3 months after moving into a farmhouse in the country our neighbours barn caught on fire and Karns Volunteer Fire Dept responded and fought a very big barn fire for hours. A couple of firefighters came to talk with us and they were so nice and one asked me to come down and join. The next day I went to Karns Sta 1 and joined.  

To read more exclusive features and latest news please see our May issue here.

Media contact

Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, International Fire Buyer
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922
Email: editor@firebuyer.com

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