Retired Knox County firefighter’s invention helps cool crews battling wildfires

Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) – An invention by a retired Knox County firefighter helped keep crews from overheating while battling wildfires earlier this month.

For days, crews worked around the clock to contain the flames in Wears Valley and Seymour. One of the greatest dangers for these firefighters is not the flames but the heat.

Michael Robinson is a former Rural Metro firefighter who invented the HeatSeeker about ten years ago. This device helps crews beat the heat. It is a misting device that can help lower your body temperature by about 30 degrees.

He gave them out for free to crews during wildfires to make sure they stayed safe.

“It was extremely important for us to cool down and help us get back to fighting the fires because heat exhaustion and heart attacks are one of the biggest killers of firefighters,” Robinson said.

Robinson was a firefighter for 29 years in Knox County and tells us that his three sons served as firefighters at one time. It has made it its mission to ensure the safety of crews at work.