Quick Step Anchor For Safe Roof Ventilation
By David Hesselmeyer
I try to stay up with newer products and recently heard of the Quick Step Anchor. So I immediately did what most of us would do and googled it. I was intrigued and wanted to know more.
I was able to get in touch with Captain Rob Duffy who is the inventor of the Quick Step Anchor (QSA). We discussed the history of the tool and how it came to be. Capt. Duffy works for Springfield Fire Department in Massachusetts. Many years ago one of his fellow firefighters fell off a roof, and the injured firefighter’s life was never the same.
This remained in Capt. Duffy’s mind and after many more fires and moving up in the ranks, the Quick Step Anchor was born. Captain Duffy told me about some of the instructional videos that were online about the Quick Step Anchor. They are easily searchable on YouTube.
My next thought was OK, so this tool is supposed to make it easier to perform ventilation. Would this really help? Many times we deal with new tools that end up being more of a hassle than a benefit. In addition to climbing a ladder and cutting tools such as saws and axes, I have to carry the Quick Step Anchor?
Capt. Duffy offered to let me test the anchor to make this decision for myself.
I received the tool and took some time to review it. The QSA is made of solid metal and is very sturdy, weighing less than 13 pounds. All parts seemed to be assembled to ensure proper use and be durable. The QSA in its operational position is a triangular type device with two hooks hanging off the top. It also has a 500-degree heat-sensing label. In addition, a lanyard can be added — sold separately — that seems essential. The lanyard connects between the tool to allow for carrying the device and also as a safety lanyard when operating and performing vertical ventilation. The tool looks sturdy but light enough to operate, even while carrying additional tools.
Using the Tool
The first thing I learned while using this tool was it is not a hindrance when scaling the ladder to do ventilation. The lanyard, which is adjustable to size, allowed the tool to be worn leaving both hands free to ascend the ladder and carry other tools. It is important that we are not weighted down with anything extra.
The next step is to cut a line into the roof where the hooks will be inserted. The cut only takes one pass in most cases. I was able to do this while using a roof ladder to stand on for safety. I took the QSA off and slid the hooks into the cut. Again, the hooks went in without even having to tap the tool. Next I flipped the anchor over per the instructions while adjusting the tool to fit the pitch of the roof. To finalize the installation I hooked the lanyard to my truck belt.
Once this tool was installed I was able to step off the ladder and have a great anchor to perform vertical ventilation. I had more of a reach with the QSA than with the roof ladder. Performing vertical ventilation was rather simple from this point.
The tool did not weigh me down or get in my way as I stated earlier. It provides extra help without any real work to use it. That was nice. Even though I was skeptical at first, the QSA was easy and quick to install onto the roof. Any excess time in installation was offset by the efficiency in performing the ventilation. Finally, the additional safety of the lanyard was an added bonus. Operating on a roof can be a very dangerous task. Anything we can do to be safe so we can go home to our family is important.
The tool retails for $995 without the safety lanyard. The safety lanyard is $190. I would suggest purchasing both together. I think the QSA without the lanyard makes the tool less valuable but put together they are great.
This is another tool that I would want on my truck. I can live without this tool but in a tough hazardous job like we work in I would so much rather have this tool to make my job easier and safer. I recommend this product.
Until next time be safe!
David Hesselmeyer has been in emergency services for 15 years. Currently he is a firefighter, rescue technician, paramedic, and emergency management coordinator Type I. He is the owner and primary consultant with Emergency Preparedness Consulting (EPC). EPC contracts with emergency services agencies, health departments, fire departments, EMS agencies, and non profits to assist in risk assessments, plan writing, plan revision, exercise development, etc. If you have any questions or concerns about this please feel free to contact Hesselmeyer at [email protected]
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