Esprit Venture Challenge: RoGo Fire
About RoGo Fire
RoGo Fire is developing an advanced satellite communication solution including devices and software designed to enable wildland firefighters to communicate and access data in remote areas where cellular service is unreliable or not available.
Our mission is to deliver a communication system that will reduce line of duty deaths, firefighting expense and property damage, as well as improve firefighter situational awareness by ensuring a productive deployment of emergency responders and a more effective hazard response execution utilizing state of the art communications technology.
PROBLEM / OPPORTUNITY
On today's large wild land fires, there is a lack of current and consistent communication technology to support deployed firefighting personnel - resulting in communications inaccuracies, no communication at all and limited time sensitive updates. This is primarily due to the tools they use. Deployed crews still use antiquated VHF radios to communicate in the field in remote areas across long distances and still use paper maps and compasses.
The Holy Grail of Wildland Firefighter Safety is a system that improves firefighting safety. RoGo Fire's FAACTS system (Firefighting Advanced Asset, Communications and Tracking System) will improve communication, coordination and situational awareness for both Incident command/operations, and the deployed firefighting crews. Our system provides GPS positioning of firefighting crews, GPS locations of key non-human resources, weather, wind direction, digital mapping and voice/SMS communications features.
This system empowers First Responders to better do their job by improving communication, tracking crews & resources and providing critical data and information to those who need it and can act on it. Ultimately, utilizing our technology on All Hazard incidents will save lives, time and expense.
RoGo has developed a patented integrated satellite communications system incorporating GPS / Satcom enabled tablets, portable GPS transceivers (Dropballs), a mobile network operating center, the top incident management software (including EGP) and Satcom communications providers. Our Firefighting Advanced Asset, Communication, Tracking System (FAACTS) will enable firefighters to communicate with Incident Command and emergency response operations in real time and share up to the minute vital scene information: Status & GPS location of firefighters and resources, weather, digital mapping, photos, changes in assignment, etc.
RoGo Fire’s FAACTS is a three-part patented integrated satellite communications system incorporating mobile GPS/Satcom-enabled tablets, GPS location devices (Dropballs) with Iridium’s Next Broadband satellite constellation and multiple incident management software platforms. This solution is a fully integrated end to end solution for remote wildfire deployment.
A vital component of the system is a ruggedized, waterproof and shockproof touch-screen tablet that is Satcom enabled using Iridium’s low-earth-orbiting satellites. This device will provide deployed crews access to the incident management software platforms providing access to weather, digital maps, resources, communications and several other features.
The second component is a GPS location device (“Dropballs”). This device is a portable, field deployable GPS receivers/transmitters that identify resources in the hazard area - Location of fire engines, bull dozers, water resources, high value structures, etc. They have a retractable mechanism that provides vector positioning for slurry drop locations to provide aerial resources guidance for accurate slurry drops. The second generation of this device will also include environmental sensors to measure weather attributes and ground conditions.
Initially, we are targeting firefighting and emergency responders who are in desperate need of newer communication technology. All types of hazard response teams could utilize this system. While solving the communications issues Wildland Firefighters face is our passion and priority, there are several other industries/markets we plan to target including DoD, National Guard, Home Land Security insurance, remote mining, oil & gas, logging, utilities, outdoor adventure, commercial fishing, remote healthcare and all hazards incidents. We extend the functionality of any SaaS platform in remote areas where there is no WiFi or cell service.
Sell or Rent the devices and software solutions directly to government agencies in conjunction with our partnerships with software providers and Satcom service fee.
We view competition from two different perspectives - the Satcom / GPS mobile device market and the integrated firefighting solution market.
Mobile Satcom devices have been available on the market for a while. While these devices are effective for voice communications and limited data, they do not provide internet access / support for the firefighting incident management software. This is where FAACTS is most effective. We are delivering devices that are tightly integrated with the software used and providing functionality that will be used by remote firefighters.
There are a few companies like Spot, GoTenna, Garmin who are providing voice, limited mapping and GPS location services. These as point solutions in which they only solve a piece of the problem - GPS location of crews.
From a total solution perspective, no one has integrated an incident management software solution with the hardware technology we are building. It's not enough to provide maps and/or GPS locations. FAACTS is a comprehensive solution providing the remote crews access to the same software that incident command and control is using - providing access to maps, weather, incident information like hot spots, locations of other crews, the ability to communicate with other crews directly, locations of resources like water and equipment (Engines, Dozers).
The secret sauce of the RoGo System is based on our patented 3-part system. We offer a completely integrated solution that provides technology and functionality to all of those involved in wildland firefighting. We are focused on providing a wildland firefighting solution that brings information and technology to those who need it the most – the firefighters in remote areas. FAACTS is based on the best SATCOM data bandwidth available, a wildland fire asset tracking and data resource communication system, touch screen position calling for direct communication and GPS location and tracking devices with vector positioning for slurry drops and a GPS/Satcom enabled tablet that is deployable to the crews – providing access to situational awareness information needed to be more effective in their efforts.
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About the Founders
Rod Goossen, Chief Executive Officer / Founder: Rod earned his EE Degree in 1996 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University specializing in Avionics, Communications and Navigation. He specialized in Avionics Engineering on corporate jets and was responsible for design and management of the avionics package and certification process for Bombardier, Gulfstream and Dessault. Rod holds three U.S. patents and a Copyright. Rod Goossen resides in Denver, CO.
Ken Chez, Chief Operating Officer / Founder: Ken's career in technology sales and marketing began over 30 years ago. He has worked with computer and software companies building and executing go to market solutions and sales campaigns in both private and public sectors. While spending almost 20 years at Oracle and Sun Microsystems, he was responsible selling and marketing hardware, software & SaaS solutions. Additionally, he has expertise in manufacturing, supply chain logistics, systems operations and product management. Ken resides in Boulder, CO.
Derek Goossen, Chief Strategy Officer / Founder: Derek has been in the fire service since 1998 and is currently the Battalion Chief at Red, White & Blue Division in Breckenridge, CO. Since the 1999 season, he has been deployed across the nation on over 100 wildfire incidents as well as hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Derek resides in Frisco, CO