Charlie Jacobson has been a volunteer firefighter since he was sixteen. But fighting flames represents only one of the student’s passions – he’s also pretty hot on data.
Along with a team of fellow Princeton engineers, Jacobson has founded FireStop, which is being touted as the “first truly cloud-based platform” that lets firefighters collect, use and share critical information during emergencies. It’s all about real-time.
In tangible terms, this means things like having immediate knowledge of nearby fire hydrants, what other fire trucks are already responding to a situation, and any potential hazards nearby.
FireStop’s methodology is still very much about getting the men and women in uniform on the scene of an emergency with the correct equipment ASAP. But now, they will be connected with their own personal computers and real-time data streams.
“FireStop’s goal is to make [these] occurrences of iPads commonplace during firefighting operations,” Jacobson says in a blog post earlier today.
While the Web and mobile-focused platform will be publicly available to fire departments across the US today, their initial push from a sales perspective will be those situated in the north-east, particularly in New Jersey and New York.
“In just four years as a firefighter, I have been amazed at how much data is generated from firefighting operations and how little of it is analyzed or understood,” adds Jacobson. “Imagine a world where we can predict when and where the next fire will happen and how best to respond. We see this scenario happening not far into the future. By leveraging the data generated by our departments, we hope to fundamentally change the way our first responders protect the communities they serve.”
It’s still early days for FireStop, but having just secured a $20,000 convertible note investment from student-led venture fund Dorm Room Fund and won first place at TigerLaunch, Princeton E-Club’s pitch event, things are looking bright for the fledgling startup.
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