Day 3-3: Closing the Information Gap: Through Collaboration and Customer-Inspired Solutions | Shea Broussard

Firefighters often find themselves surrounded by thick smoke, making it difficult to navigate through the vast expanse of a raging wildfire. Every step is uncertain; every decision is crucial. Add to that the lack of detailed knowledge about the terrain, the vegetation, and the fire patterns. 

Therefore, it’s time we recognize the dire need for better resources, technology, and support for these brave men and women who put their lives on the line for the safety of others. Only with improved visibility and access to information can they combat these wildfires effectively, ensuring the well-being of both firefighters and the communities they serve.

After losing his home as a child in a wildfire and witnessing first responders’ challenges during the 2018 Woolsey Fire, Shea Broussard, the CEO of FlameMapper started The Beacon Box Project. The Beacon Boxes are weatherproof lockboxes containing hard copy laminated maps of the area, digital maps, weather data, and other resources, installed at strategic locations to help firefighters navigate unsafe areas, locate turnaround spots for trucks, hydrants, and other infrastructure, and make informed tactical decisions to interrupt the spread of fires.

Tune in as Shea shares lessons learned about providing information in multiple accessible formats, the importance of engaging with local fire departments and authorities to gather and validate information, improving the durability of materials, and securing emergency access to information.