As you read this article, I will have been to FDIC and back. I guess it is writing for the future but then reading for the past. I wouldn’t try to figure that one out, it could make your head hurt. The nice thing about FDIC is I will have the chance to search out equipment and gear and see what is coming out new for 2014. A lot of the manufacturers like to “show and tell” their new ideas and tools. If you have never been to FDIC, you should try and plan on going at least once for the experience. It is something you will never forget.
While at the Piedmont Fire show in Winston-Salem this past February I had the pleasure to meet a fellow by the name of Mike Ward at one of the booths there. I noticed a lot of folks going by his booth and talking to him and his wife, and many of them leaving with some small and very colorful metal items. After further investigation and discussion, I soon learned what these tiny but powerful little devices were. I decided to write this column on those little devices, since it’s not often that I run across a piece of innovative equipment that was developed by someone that is local, but also a career firefighter. Mike is extremely passionate about his little device and after finding out more about what it was and what it did, I can understand why.
The Angel Tool is a small piece of specially cut metal that is used to keep doors open. Now, the Angel Tool doesn’t just keep residential doors open, it keeps all types of doors open. It works on the light weight doors as well as the heavy commercial doors you find in the industrial world. The tool can also be used to keep garage doors open. If you need to keep a door open, this is the tool for the job. They are small and lightweight, made of steel and painted in different colors. Being small, they are easy to carry with you in a building and place on the doors as you go through. They come with a ring so you can hang them on your gear as well. The simplicity of this little tool is what really makes it unique.
Since the Angel Tool was made locally, I wanted to also talk a little about how it came about. I asked Mike to enlighten me on how he came up with the idea for the tool, so I could share this with my fellow fire and rescue friends. He said the idea of using a door chock came to him while going through a building on a fire alarm investigation. As they went from room to room, the doors would close behind him and they were not able to go back through some of them, not allowing them to leave the way they came in. He started to realize that if this was a structure fire, he and his fellow firefighters could have been in danger. It was time to look into coming up with a device that would hold open doors. He started to research different types of door chocks and stops, but found that there were not any that could be used on all types of doors. So he began the process of inventing The Angel Tool.
He has tried the tool on all types of doors, in all types of buildings, and has not found any door yet where it would not work. He has slammed doors on the tool to see how it would hold up and in the process has had to replace and repair several doors. Mike’s focus is on the safety of the firefighters and making sure they can return home safe to their families. Mike has kept production costs down to keep it affordable for the firefighters and departments to purchase. With safety in mind, these little angel shaped devices can be placed on all doors when entering a structure, and where the door needs to remain open. They can be used by EMS and rescue as well for supporting doors, and moving patients and stretchers through. If it gets right down to it, you can use them at home to hold the door open for moving items in and out. Perhaps buying your wife one for holding the door open to get the groceries in might be good, especially if you are not there to hold it for her. We need all the brownie points we can get, right?
This is a really great little tool, made and sold by a really good guy, and he named it the Angel Tool to make it more personal for those who use it. You have your own little “Angel” looking after you every time you enter a structure or building. For more info on the “Angel Tool” you can go to www.myangeltools.com.
We will have some good things to look at this year in upcoming issues, so stay tuned.
If you have any questions or comments, please shoot me an email at [email protected]
. Until next time, train hard, be safe, and know your equipment.
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