Firefighting: Past, Present, and Holo-Edge Future

Astral AR Letterhead and Proposals Stationery

The Charlie I and Charlie II Firedrones

A little firefighting history:

“Women have been firefighters for longer than most people realize: in fact, for almost 200 years. The first woman firefighter we know of was Molly Williams, who was a slave in New York City and became a member of Oceanus Engine Company #11 in about 1815. One woman whose name is sometimes mentioned as an early female firefighter is the San Francisco heiress, Lillie Hitchcock Coit. She became an honorary member of Knickerbocker Engine Company #5 as a teenager in 1859, after helping them drag the engine to a fire on Telegraph Hill.”



Fast-forward to the present:

On the grounds of the state capitol in Sacramento there is a marble monument engraved with the names of firefighters who’ve perished in fires in the State’s history back to 1850. The list of fallen public servants who risked their lives so that others might survive, and ended up making the ultimate sacrifice – is very long:


And in the Trinity Alps Wilderness area of California, you’ll find the Iron 44 Monument memorializing the 9 firefighters lost their lives and 3 who were injured when a helicopter transporting them crashed on August 5, 2008. The crash was the deadliest air tragedy of working firefighters in US history, the 9 men included 7 contract firefighters with Grayback Forestry of Merlin OR, the Carson Helicopter pilot and a beloved trainer.


The Yosemite fire of 2014 took the life of a CalFire pilot. And near Yosemite CA, off of the Rim of the World Hwy 120 is a Memorial rock/plaque dedicated to yet another public servant firefighter, Ms. Eva Schicke – the first CDF female firefighter to die in the line of duty. In addition, the large stretch of highway nearby was also dedicated to her through the Legislature. (Learn more from this state-by-state listing of memorials to fallen firefighters)

What we know: every type of person has volunteered to fight fires throughout American history. There are many, many valiant stories of community members fighting together to save their land from fearsome infernos. What now, though? Numbers of volunteer firefighters are dropping, and the fires are getting worse.  Many regions of the U.S. and other places in the world are dealing with more frequent and markedly intense wildfires these days with global warming drought conditions. 13 people died over a matter of hours in Tennessee during one wildfire last December.

In California, biologists say there are now 102 million dead trees, which is unprecedented in human history and an incomprehensible loss on many levels that also is creating conditions for likewise unprecedented massive wildfires. Rural and mountain communities are critically low in recruits due to dwindling full-time populations. One reason cited as a deterrent from volunteer firefighting – even by those who are able-bodied and willing – is the hundreds of hours needed to maintain training requirements. Many would-be volunteers are not in a position to do this dangerous work when it does not offer benefits or salary.



Inmate “Fire Work Release” Programs:

Enter incarcerated labor – the inmate volunteer firefighter – via “work-release programs”. Working in teams, inmates contribute to society while building empathy, work ethic, self-esteem, and trust in others. They dig fire lines, save homes, save dogs, and maybe save YOUR dog.

The inmate fire work volunteer strives to cut a substantial amount of time off of their prison sentence by assisting in any and every kind of wildfire remediation. Some might make a monthly paycheck of about $250, others might make $6 a day in “hazard pay”. However, they are often paid just pennies a day at up to 16 hours a day. And when inmates die in these fires, it adds to the ever-growing heap of criticisms against prison labor.

“Inmate firefighters save California a lot of money. The work-release program pays them between $1.45 and $3.90 per day, far below the minimum wage for entry-level firefighters. Even when the crews are pulling hazard pay while on an active fire line battling a blaze, their wage only jumps to $1 an hour. A state corrections site estimates the program saves California “more than $80 million annually on average,” but the California corrections official who supervises the fire camps says that the figure is more like $1 billion per year.”

The risks are compelling and well reported, starting with trees falling and fire entrapment followed by various forms of cancer due to smoke inhalation, heart disease, stress related diabetes, elevated blood cholesterol, behavioral issues due to deoxygenation/cognitive impairments, depression after failed rescues (of coworkers, children, adults, and animals) in blazes. And even suicide.

And the injuries add up: 68,085 firefighter injuries were reported in the U.S in 2015. Of these, 29,130 were injuries at the fireground.



Appropriate use of smart emerging tech for firefighters:

Wildfires seem to be getting worse and worse with each passing year. The earth is suffering many consequences of environmental abuses and the extreme weather systems of climate catastrophe. As fires escalate and fire departments across the US are stretched thin, volunteers pitch in where they can. It is incredibly difficult to track at any point what is happening with an uncontrollable fire, and when you add a few thousand people to that equation, something is almost certain to fail which will cost lives.

Astral AR was the first company to dream up AR drones-as-a-service intended for use in combating wildfires with the capabilities of Next Gen tech for optimizing strategic & tactical leadership. And while larger manufacturers may have jumped on the subsequent firedrone bandwagon Astral’s patented “Charlie” drones utilize the world’s-only mind-flown piloting systems that allow for full immersion piloting without distracting and problem-prone navigational joysticks or androids.

Astral AR’s firedrones bring vast potential to fight fires of any kind, in any setting, per need and with real-time report-back that can make a huge difference in saving lives.Our Charlie I is intended for use in urban settings, and the Charlie II can assist with wildfires. When each type of firedrone finds a survivor, it deploys a payload of fire retardant, and provides exit route instructions and stays with the survivor while teams work to get to the survivor.  We think this is legendary, and FEMA would seem to agree, in its affiliation with Astral AR as a SME (subject-matter-expert) on disaster management tech.

Astral’s Charlie firedrones are on a mission: to seek out survivors – and to gather data that enhances firefighting leadership with the help of sensors for facial-recognition, environmental monitoring, and people-counting – which all function the same in any circumstance.  In wildfire scenarios, the Charlie II can fly directly into a fire under the tree canopy to record the precise chemical composition of the smoke and air quality, detect temperature, and confirm whether breathing human beings are on the ground so that fire departments can make decisions accordingly. Charlie II can even save pilots by monitoring a fire line in hopes of predicting jumps.

Astral AR’s mind-flown, gesture-driven piloting system is so genius that it’s patented. Our Holo-edge optic engineering plays a pivotal role, providing multi-sensor integration that exponentially increases data gathering for fire captains and fire chiefs. We integrate EEG reader biometrics, a HoloLens, and a small flying UAV to give pilots:

  • the powers of shared reality, holoportation, and telepresence
  • significant increase in human safety
  • maximized team coordination

What’s displayed to the fire captain pilot’s HoloLens visor is the drone’s sensors feed, similar to this:


The Charlie firedrones were designed to be a guardian and true friend of firefighters and all survivors.

The world needs this.

#legendary #holoedge #augmentedreality #holoportation

Astral AR

Neuromechanical holoportation unmanned aerial vehicles. It's the future.

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