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How Technology is Transforming Firefighting

with Josh Wilkins

How Technology is Transforming Firefighting

with Josh Wilkins

Few fields value traditions like fire service. Senior Wildfire Risk Manager Josh Wilkins cherishes them, but also knows how such deep commitment can preclude innovation. And that’s precisely where he’s made his mark, enacting a sea change in wildfire prevention and management.

He was raised in fire service, with childhood Thanksgivings and Christmases in the firehouse. His dad gave him the passion for fire, but also for innovation, prompting Josh to be in a perpetual state of asking “How can this be better?”

And that same endless inquiry makes for an incredible in-studio conversation, covering one’s calling, innovation in the role of a fire captain, dangerous helicopter scenarios, recruiting, data standardization, practicing, common reality capture hesitations, gamification, technology gaps, micro steps, and more. Enjoy a blazing 90 minute conversation!

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Episode Timeline

2:05
Josh’s upbringing, background, intermittent stages in fire service, and finding his calling
4:39
Working for the largest fire district in the U.S., and how most firefighters Josh knew came into the field
8:40
The experience and role of a fire captain, Josh’s journey toward it, and continuing his dad’s exact position
11:42
What innovation looked like in Josh’s role, and why he had to do the most dangerous thing possible in a helicopter
16:06
Underutilizing information
18:22
The difficulty of finding reality capture information, and what Matthew learned scanning for so many different industries
20:35
Standardization of data
24:30
The magic of practice, and current roadblocks to more widespread adoption in fire service
27:37
How Matthew sees the future in 20 years, what can be done to expedite its arrival, and the communication needed to gather data
32:34
The extreme difficulty of mapping every building, and why it is progressing
35:57
Breaking down the common reality capture hesitations, and the goal of RCN Committees
38:09
“We don’t know what we don’t know,” and knowing the personality of whom you’re presenting to
40:26
The value of experimentation, and a valuable military metaphor
45:17
Challenges of recruitment in fire service, and comparisons to surveying
48:50
The power of gamification
52:19
Gaps in the technology that Josh has noticed, and not overwhelming people whether they’re grandmas to politicians
58:12
How the technologists could take proactive steps to support fire service, and how the true damage of fire seasons is simply not grasped
1:05:17
The ROI long game
1:07:12
Prioritizing relationship-building, sharing knowledge, and empowerment
1:11:45
Josh’s “Shark Tank”
1:13:38
What brings Matthew much greater joy than scanning & modeling
1:16:23
Your network is your net worth, the wonder of LinkedIn, and why Josh is excited for the future
1:20:08
The advice Josh would give his younger self
1:23:40
The mindset of helping absolutely anybody
1:26:02
How questions can lead to accidental growth, and “aha!” moments
1:27:58
Humility and honesty while being an expert
1:30:35
Micro steps
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Mentioned in this Episode:

Josh Wilkins

Josh Wilkins

Founder

Josh Wilkins

Josh Wilkins

Founder

Fireline Solutions
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How Technology is Transforming Firefighting

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