Decisions For Heroes, the 'BaseCamp for Mountain Rescue' launches

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There are not many startups that set out to save peoples lives – unless you count the generic use of things like Twitter to get the word out fast about an earthquake or some other life-threatening event. But then again there aren’t that many aiming for the extreme niche of mountain rescue teams. But Decisions For Heroes, which just launched, is aiming to do just that, and it just goes to show how far the application of social data to a problem can reach.

Cliff rescue climber Robin Blandford – who also happens to be a former executive with Reuters’ new media operation – created DFH after volunteering on rescue operations with the Irish Coast Guard. He’s created the service to address three common challenges for these life-savers: equipment, communication logistics and paperwork/data. So Decisions For Heroes monitors key metrics for these rescue teams like “response readiness”, team availability (since so many of these teams are staffed by volunteers), qualifications and experience.

With a laptop and internet connection, teams can record the details of their rescue operations and training exercises. The software then automatically performs analytical charting, draws heatmaps, and benchmarks reports to outline the teams areas of strength, weakness, and expertise.

DFH then links up all these disparate, global rescue teams, which all share the same kinds of needs, to share data and perform paperless reporting between teams, in a way that they’ve never done before.

The site is based on a 40 Euro a month basic package for rescue teams, going up to an ‘all you can eat’ scenario which so far is unpriced. Think of it as BaseCamp for danger. DFH originally came through the Seedcamp European startups programme.

Eventually the system is designed to generate statistics, observe patterns, educate potential casualties, and ultimately reduce accidents. And who could ask more than that.

  • Eamon Leonard

    …building a big ol’ database of accidents and emergencies. Awesome.

    Looking forward to seeing what kind of data has been tracked after a year.

    Congratulations on the launch Robin!

  • Conor O'Neill

    This is the kind of app we should all try and build at least once in our lives. Well done Robin!

  • Ryan O'Donnell

    Great to see an Irish Company get some good exposure, and a noble one at that!

    Best of Luck Robin!

  • Joe Scanlon

    Well done to Robin and all the Decisions For Heroes team. Very nice professional looking website too.

  • Paul Anthony

    Great to see this app getting the exposure it deserves- looks like the Tuesday push has just a kinda worked. ;o)

  • Iarfhlaith Kelly

    Basecamp for Danger seems to be sticking :)

    Well done Robin, sky’s the limit!

  • Robin Blandford

    Excellent Write-up! Thank you Mike!

    Very happy to arrange demo accounts for all TechCrunch readers in rescue teams (Coast Guard, Mountain Rescue, Wilderness or Urban SAR).

    Email or call

    United States – (408) 844 4965
    United Kingdom – (020) 323 999 04
    Ireland – (01) 442 9217

  • Eamonn Grant

    Well don RB! Congrats on the launch and best of luck with the DFH

  • PaulSweeney

    Oh dear, is it wrong of me to call it cutting edge? ;)

  • Lenny

    Well done Robin. Looking forward to seeing this app blossom.

  • Pat Phelan

    Well done to Robin and all the Decisions For Heroes team, great product, have followed this from start to now,

  • Sean

    Great to see this come to life, loved it at seedcamp. Down the road, lots of potentially interesting business opportunities leveraging the data. Well done!

  • Donagh Mc Sweeney

    Great job with the website. A bright future and nice to see people developing things that can actually save lives. Well done!

  • Robin Blandford [ ] » Updated: Launch Day, Just keeping my head above water!

    […] / Mike Butcher Decisions For Heroes, the ‘BaseCamp for Mountain Rescue’ launches. There are not many startups that set out to save peoples lives. […]

  • Jeromakay

    Decisions for Heroes, life saving web app…

    I’ve got to say this is a very well applied idea on how people can use the internet and apply it’s benefits to real life (saving) situations[…]

  • wtf twitterbethyname

    “unless you count the generic use of things like Twitter to get the word out fast about an earthquake or some other life-threatening event.”

    No, you wouldn’t count twitter because it wasn’t started to save people’s lives; neither specific nor generic (whatever that means).

    And if someone needs twitter to tell them they are in an earthquake or other life threatening situation, darwinism will soon take care everything for them.

  • Vinny Glennon

    Great Execution, a perfect example of resource-constrained bootstrapping to get a quality product out into the wild.

  • Brian Smith

    We’ve been using D4H since late January. I went through all of our paper logs and entered data back to June 2008. The insight that D4H provides for our activities over time has allowed us to make some significant changes to our training. We were easily able to see our weak areas by comparing training to actual incidents.

    Being able to provide a “one click” report to those in charge of our activities when asked is also a great feature.

    One of our officers stated that D4H is one of the best tools our unit has at it’s disposal right now.

    Thanks to Robin for creating a much needed application for an area where there were none before!

  • Gary Morgan

    Seriously cool stuff. Well done Robin, you deserve every success.

  • greg

    If we’re looking to Twitter to save lives in an earthquake, we’re f*ed.

  • happyvolunteer


    Which also hints that we are going to see really bad times soon.

    Would be best if this kind of heroics would not be needed, but it seems to be otherwise.

    at least we will be doing something about it after the disasters.

  • Niall Smart

    Congratulations in the public launch – great site and great community + around it.

  • Robin Blandford

    Thanks all ;-) great comments!

  • Simon Best

    Big congrats to Robin.

    Was great to meet you at Seedcamp. Always been a fan of D4H so it’s great to see it finally launched! Good luck with everything.

  • Richard Healy

    Nice one mate! Good luck with it all. Hopefully we can meet up soon!

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