Bunker Labs Columbus

Bunker Labs Columbus Company Spotlight: Three Firefighters

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Three Firefighters  was founded to develop tools that will help make firefighting safer and more effective while buying more time for firefighters to save lives and preserve property.

The company was established in January 2015 in Lewis Center, Ohio by founder and CEO, Michael Maher who has 17 years of public service experience as a career firefighter and paramedic. He is motivated to contribute to a profession that he loves by improving safety. Many firefighters have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and it is Three Firefighters mission to help decrease the number of these instances allowing every firefighter to return home safe after duty.

Underwriters Laboratories (UL), The National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Fire Investigation Unit (ATF) have all performed studies which proved that the amount of air able to enter a structure fire is directly attributed to the loss of lives and property. Further studies have demonstrated that modern buildings which consist of structural elements and furnishings made with synthetic materials drastically decreases the amount of time firefighters have to save lives and preserve property. Modern fires have been proven to burn five times hotter, five times faster, and produce smoke 400 times more deadly than those in the past.

Three Firefighters’ DoorBoss is a tool placed by a first arriving firefighter. The DoorBoss holds the primary entry door used by firefighters in a mostly closed position thereby restricting the amount of air able to enter the structure. The DoorBoss is the only product which safely utilizes the science of door control proven by UL, NIST and ATF to restrict the amount of air able to enter a structure fire thereby limiting fire growth and buying more time for firefighters to save lives and preserve property.

Lessons Learned on the Entrepreneurial Journey

The biggest challenge Michael faced while growing Three Firefighters LLC was in locating funding. He overcame this challenge by networking within the entrepreneurial space and was able to find investors who would champion his mission, as well as, provide mentoring throughout the growth process.

Michael says, that while growing Three Firefighters he found that networking at events hosted by organizations, such as Rev1 Ventures and Bunker Labs Columbus, provided contacts that proved to be great footholds for the following steps in the growth process. “Through multiple events sponsored by Bunker Labs, I have been able to pitch my company and product in front of potential investors.” said Michael. Because of the great mentors that I have found at Bunker Labs, Rev1 Ventures, Spark560, TechGROWTH Ohio and the Ohio University LIGHTS Program, I’ve never had a problem finding answers to questions that many startups may have.

At the moment, Michael says he’s not grappling with any major challenges. “I am very grateful for that. I know that as my company grows, many challenges are ahead. I look forward to working through these challenges with my team which will ultimately lead to continuous growth.”

Advice for Others

“I haven’t found that there is a ‘hack’ for being an entrepreneur,” Michael says. “You just have to grind. You have to believe in your mission and surround yourself with positive people who will champion you and your company. You have to attend the networking events, you have be ready to pitch your idea or product to anyone at any time.” Michael believes that if you do this, the opportunity will present itself and it is then up to you to recognize the opportunity, grab it with both hands, follow up and be ready to do it again. He says if you do this enough times, you will succeed.

“My advice to any entrepreneur is to network as much as possible. If you believe it yourself, it will show. It will be contagious. Your growing network will offer opportunities to meet connectors within your space that will lead to success.”

For more information on Three Firefighters check out the website at ThreeFirefighters.com