Growing up the son of a firefighter, Flagler College junior Blake Richardson heard plenty of stories from his father Brad about his work at the Fernandina Beach Fire Department.
Over the last 15 years of his dad’s career, two of the common themes that always came up were the stress of the job and the lack of sleep. But one thing always stood out.
[My dad] always told me that the leading cause of death for a firefighter is a heart attack,” Richardson said. “A lot of that comes from stress and overexertion. When I realized the implications of that it was kind of shocking.”
Richardson said he always wanted to come up with a way that would make his dad’s job easier, and healthier. He hopes EaseAwake, an innovative device he came up with in high school that is now gaining attention around the state, will do exactly that.
The goal of EaseAwake, a wearable wristband device similar to a FitBit, is to help sleeping firefighters wake slowly when a call to service comes in.