Tech Connects Firefighters With Their Families Back Home Through Face-To-Face, Digital Storytime App

Today Caribu, a video calling and reading app for children and their families, announced the Caribu Firefighter Family Initiative ( The initiative provides free subscriptions of Caribu for all firefighters, their families and anyone impacted by the recent wildfires, including firefighters from Australiaand New Zealand. The Caribu Firefighter Family Initiative was inspired by veteran firefighter, Brendan McDonough, and his personal story of staying connected to his young daughter while he was away on duty, as well as the fact that this wildfire season has been the largest and most impactful on record.

In a recent television interview, McDonough, sole survivor of the Yarnell Hill Fire tragedy of 2013 and inspiration behind the 2017 film "Only the Brave," relayed how reading bedtime stories to his young daughter on the road gave his morale a boost.

"While fighting wildfires, we would be gone from home constantly," said McDonough. "Being able to read to my daughter at night kept me motivated. I support the Caribu Firefighter Family Initiative because I want to help bring that small, but really important, experience to firefighters and their families."

Upon hearing McDonough's story, Maxeme Tuchman, CEO of Caribu, was moved to act. Tuchman quickly realized that her innovative technology could solve a real and urgent need for firefighters on the front lines and immediately wanted to do something to help.

"We're so proud to be able to show our support for the firefighters that are dedicated to our safety and keeping the wildfires at bay," said Tuchman. "We offer free access to all active members of the military; it just made sense to do the same for wildland firefighters who are also away from home for long stretches of time. If Caribu can make just one part of keeping our heroes close to their families easier, we've done our job."

Caribu makes virtual story time easily accessible to parents and only requires a smartphone and a data plan or Wi-Fi. It gives instant access to a digital library with hundreds of children's books, in six languages, and workbooks that can be drawn on together in real-time. Caribu is currently working with multiple local and national firefighter organizations to distribute the digital donations of the app.

For more information on the Caribu Firefighter Family Initiative, visit

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