A Knoxville firefighter and his son auditioned Thursday for the Shark Tank, a reality show in which inventors pitch their products and real-life investors decide if they want to finance and market the inventions.
WATE 6 reported that Firefighter Michael Robinson pitched a product that East Tennessee fire departments have already used for years. Called the Heatseeker, the device fits on a fire truck and sprays a fine mist of water to keep fire crews cool. Robinson said his device saves lives by reducing stress for the firefighters when out in the field.
“We need to cool our core temperatures down in order for us to go back in the fire environment and perform our duties to the best of our abilities,” said Robinson in a 2012 interview with WBIR.
“We’re so hot, we just pretty much cook inside,” he said during the same interview about the heavy protective gear firefighters must wear. “When we come out of a fire environment, our number one priority is to cool off.”
Since it debut in 2011, the Heatseeker has gotten national attention. In 2012, it was featured in Popular Science magazine as one of the year’s best inventions. Robinson has already sold the device across the country and overseas, but wants to reach a broader audience.
“I’m taking it to the next level now. I want to get this out to help my brothers and sisters. It’s very important to help them. We need to keep safe on the scenes, reduce insurance claims, keep our firefighters out of the hospital allowing us to return to our station, our community and most importantly our families,” said Robinson.