Western Fire, Arizona
Mitigation of firefighting hazards leads to weather station
Western Fire Inc. provides "advanced firefighting technology and terrorism defense" through their compressed air foam products, contract services, consulting and training. Their fleet of trucks is contracted with the State of Arizona and federal agencies for wildland firefighting around the nation.
An evaluation of hazards revealed that weather conditions (such as shifting winds) caused many accidents and deaths in wildland firefighting operations. To help mitigate those hazards, the company decided to purchase a fire weather system. They spent seven months researching the competition and ended up purchasing four Capricorn 2000EX weather stations to mount on their wildland interface trucks.
Bob Krempasky, VP of product development, stated, "Understanding the weather out on the fire lines allows us to provide information to the incident meteorologists and the surrounding firefighters, so that we can get them out of harms' way when the fire behavior changes."
Western Fire is also part of Pinal County's HazMat, WMD, and explosion response teams. "We found that the weather station became an invaluable tool in helping to mitigate those potential scenarios," Krempasky stated. "We work closely with the county to provide critical weather information needed to evacuate people, to keep first responders upwind, and to do plume design and estimate how far chemicals are being spread."
"We initially looked at the weather station for firefighter safety and it just grew into bigger and other opportunities and ways to use it," he added.
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