Last year, property loss due to fire in the United States totaled over $9 billion
dollars. Michael Maher founded Three Firefighters, LLC to develop tools that

will help make firefighting safer and more effective while reducing the loss of life and property.

Through TechGROWTH Ohio, Maher jumped the hurdle that all entrepreneurs face; finding angel investors to grow enough capital to get the company started. After achieving funding, Three Firefighters went to work on what will be their first product, the DoorBoss.

Currently, in development, the DoorBoss could significantly assist firefighters control and ability to fight fires. What does the DoorBoss do? The DoorBoss restricts the amount of air able to enter a burning structure; thereby limiting fire growth. The DoorBoss is placed on the door frame by a first arriving firefighter and holds the door used by firefighters in a mostly closed position. Decreasing the amount of oxygen able to feed the fire translates into slower fire growth and more time for firefighters to save lives and property. Currently, firefighters are tasked with manually controlling the amount of opening at the door after dragging in their fire hose to extinguish the fire. The DoorBoss will effectively free up the hands of a skilled firefighter so he or she can perform other live saving tasks.

With the DoorBoss currently in its final phase of development, Three Firefighters, LLC is working on adding new technology to the DoorBoss to be used for firefighter accountability during emergencies. At the end of the November 2017, Maher traveled to Hacketstown Training Centre in Carlow County, Ireland to test the DoorBoss in action with great success.

Through the process of developing his product, Maher met Nathaniel Berger, Professional Engineer and Design Expert with LIGHTS. Nathaniel and Maher are collaborating on fine-tuning the production process of the DoorBoss through LIGHTS’ resources. The DoorBoss will be on the market in February of 2018.

Maher left me with a few tips for any entrepreneur trying their best to bring their idea to fruition. He said “You have to grind every day and believe in yourself. Grind out the idea and prepare for your pitch for funding, investors will see that, the entrepreneur is the one being invested in more than the product.”

About LIGHTS: Ohio University’s Innovation Center founded the LIGHTS (Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability) program in 2016. LIGHTS’ Innovation Network catalyzes the creation of companies to create high-wage jobs, and attract greater private investment in the coal-impacted regions of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The Appalachian Regional Commission generously f
unded the program because of its unique way of matching complex problems and opportunities facing corporations, communities, and individuals to a network of two strategically-placed Innovation Hubs and seven Gateways. New marketable products arise from these problems. The Gateways and Hubs are new business incubators and makerspaces serving a 28-county area.