Smoke Jumper Safety
A smoke jumper is a fire-fighter who parachutes into remote areas to combat wildfires. Smokejumpers are most often deployed to fires that are extremely remote without cellular coverage. The risks associated with this method of personnel deployment are mitigated by an extremely well-developed training program that has evolved over the course of more than 70 years. Smokejumpers are capable of reaching a wildfire shortly after ignition when it is still relatively small and extinguishing the blaze before it becomes a problem to land managers and the public. Smokejumpers are deployed outside fire suppression when there is not significant fire activity.
Smokejumpers are a highly skilled and intensely trained workforce that need to be quickly mobilized for a myriad of work assignments in forestry, disaster relief, and emergency management. Therefore it is extremely important for command and control to know the exact whereabouts of all team members at any given point. Raveon offers a complete and independent system to keep smoke jumpers safe:
- ATLAS PT– the battery-powered GPS radio with emergenyc alert button to immediate summon help
- Portable base station – RAWC – the portable base station for immediate location awareness of all deployed personnel
- Gang Charger – a mobile charging station to keep all ATLAS PTs ‘online’
If you know that the comparable cost for a team of Smokejumpers is better than helicopter deployments to fight fires you realize that smoke jumpers are an important part for the safety of the population living in or close to wild-fire threatened areas such as Southern California. The range of smokejumper aircraft is greater than a helicopter, the speed is greater than a helicopter, and the payload is greater also. In a realistic assessment, the two delivery systems bring different advantages and disadvantages, as both the primary vehicles and delivery method are very different in capability. A typical smokejumper mantra is “Speed, Range, Payload.” Advocates of smokejumping believe that, due to their extreme initial-attack function, smoke-jumping is one of the most cost-effective wild-land fire-fighting method employed in the U.S. today.