My Story - A Commitment to Emergency Response

Jon Frattaroli at Redwave Technology
Jon FrattaroliOctober 7th, 2019

As Chairman of Redwave Technology, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself, provide a perspective on why we formed Redwave, and to discuss our company’s mission.

The genesis of Redwave actually began 18 years ago with another company that I was leading, SensIR Technologies. Those of you who have been in the hazmat response business for years may remember that name. Beginning September 18, 2001, just days after 9/11, the country became paralyzed with fear as a result of the anthrax attacks and the innumerable follow-on white powder scares. SensIR had been working for years prior on portable spectroscopic chemical analyzers, and we made the decision to shift our focus to develop a new product, HazmatID, to specifically respond to these types of events. At its introduction in 2002, HazmatID was the first and only spectroscopic chemical identifier for hazmat response applications. The HazmatID went on to become a very important tool in the fight to keep our homeland safe and there are literally thousands of these devices spread across the globe. Because of its usefulness and strong global interest it became obvious to me that our small company in Danbury CT needed a partner with global reach to support this marketspace and in April, 2004 we agreed to become part of Smiths Detection.

The HazmatID not only revolutionized at site identification of unknown chemicals, including WMD’s, toxic industrial compounds, illicit drugs, explosives, and of course white powders, but it began a wave of new product development in this marketspace, for example, handheld Raman spectroscopic analyzers. However, as the years have passed, we have also heard repeatedly from our old customers and colleagues that many of the manufacturers appear to have reduced support for the ER/Military market, or they developed products that did not keep up with the changing requirements of hazmat responders. For this reason, I made the decision to come out of retirement and reconstitute our original SensIR team to once again bring cutting edge technology and, equally important, world class support to the ER community.

There is not another job in the world that I would come out of retirement for, but I have a deep and personal connection to our ER community.  As an EMT and EMS Chief, I have spent the better part of two decades alongside firefighters, police and EMS personnel.  I have been profoundly affected by their commitment to keep their respective communities safe. One lesson you quickly learn is that until you are immersed in the emergency response world, you have no idea of the challenges and its specialized requirements. For this reason, first at SensIR and now at Redwave, hazmat training is mandatory for all our scientists, engineers and managers. Product design and development takes on a whole new perspective when you are in class A gear on a summer day.

Redwave’s mission is straightforward – provide superior chemical analyzer products and exceptional technical support for hazmat responders. Personally, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to again lead a company that is solely focused on supporting the critical work you do every day.