Tenn. Firefighter's Invention Helps Cool Off Responders

April 25, 2012
Rural/Metro Firefighter Michael Robinson's "HeatSeeker" will be featured in Popular Science magazine's June issue as one of 2012's best inventions.

A Rural/Metro firefighter in East Tennessee is gaining national attention for a device he invented that helps keep responders cool.

Firefighter Michael Robinson St. began researching rehab techniques after a fellow firefighter collapsed form heat exhaustion last fall and created the "HeatSeeker," according to WBIR-TV.

In June, the device will be featured in Popular Science magazine as one of 2012's best inventions.

The mist cap fits onto any water discharge pipe on a fire apparatus, hose, hydrant or portable unit.

Robinson said the mist can lower the surrounding air temperature and cool firefighters' body temperatures.

"We're so hot, we just pretty much cook inside" of the turnout gear, Robinson told the news station. "When we come out of a fire environment, our number one priority is to cool off."

His colleague who collapse luckily recovered, but he wanted to find a way to prevent the same thing from happening to other firefighters.

"I never really knew how important rehab really was until I started researching, and how many firefighters had paid the ultimate price for this heat issue," he said.

He patented the invention in October 2011 and has sold nearly 50 mist caps to departments across the country and has donated caps to Rural/Metro, Knoxville and even the FDNY.

A portion of the proceeds from every device goes to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation among other charities.

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