Firefighters on the front lines battling wildfires are often away from their families for long periods of time. But now, they’ll be able to connect and read bedtime stories to their children via a new free app.

Veteran U.S. firefighter Brendan McDonough has teamed up with digital storytelling app, Caribu, to create the Caribu Firefighter Family Initiative.

The app connects firefighters and their families via an expansive digital library with hundreds of children’s books in six languages.

Caribu is an interactive video-call app that provides a way to read books together on a shared screen to keep the tradition of bedtime stories alive no matter the distance

Caribu is donating free month-long subscriptions of its digital education platform to firefighters, their families and those affected or displaced by ongoing wildfires.

The subscriptions are available to firefighters across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

McDonough used to bring a book to read to his daughter over the phone while he was traveling fighting fires.

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, Caribu CEO Maxeme Tuchman was moved to act. She quickly realized that her innovative technology could solve a real and urgent need for firefighters on the frontlines 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. With only a smartphone and data plan or Wi-Fi, firefighters are instantly connected with their family back home through a shared screen interactive video-call.

Anyone fighting in, or directly affected by wildfires, is eligible to participate in the Caribu Firefighter Family Initiative. Simply download Caribu from the Apple App Store and use promo code: BRAVE.

Click here to register for the app.

Click here for more information.

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