SPOKANE, Wash. - Safety is a top priority for firefighters across the country; they constantly look for the best equipment and newest technology to help them do their job. Now one Spokane firefighter believes he's improved on the most basic firefighter tool, the ax.
The basic firefighter ax has been tried and tested over the last 150 years. A very simple but effective tool, now imagine trying to improve on that.
That's just what Scott McCann did when he created the BADAXX, which stands for Bailout Anchor Device Axx. McCann, a fire equipment operator for the Spokane Fire Department, developed the BADAXX, which could represent the next generation of firefighter axes across the country.
It's been said, necessity is the mother of invention. That goes for firefighters as well. Recently the Spokane Fire Department received a grant for bailout equipment for firefighters who might get stuck on an upper level of a structure.
"We're learning how to anchor and bail out of structures and I was thinking, on a roof there's not a lot of good attachment points," said McCann.
McCann said that's when the idea for the BADAXX took shape.
"It's definitely a big undertaking and way more than I had anticipated," said McCann.
McCann created the first prototype from wood then upgraded to high quality aluminum for the handle with a steel head. A kickstarter campaign helped him generate some production capitol.
"So it is pretty specific to the industry or forceable entry, tactical operations, things like that," said McCann.
The blade on the BADAXX is rounded but can still cut through a roof in seconds flat.
The cutout under the blade then acts as an anchor. Firefighters trapped on a roof can self rescue using the clip-in point on the ax handle. It also flattens tires with ease and a hex cutout near the blade opens fire hydrants.
McCann says through the kickstarter campaign he's already received pre-orders from half a dozen different countries, but he's not ready to trade his fire hat for an inventors apron any time soon.
"That's my passion that's what I love to do. I have no plans of quitting my job with the fire department," said McCann.
McCann said several axes are also being used by Spokane firefighters in a trial run.
He's already reached his minimum goal on Kickstarter but is hoping a final push before the campaign ends on January 9.
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