Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Spokane firefighter redesigns fire ax

Local Spokane firefighter Scott McCann redesigned the traditional ax used by firefighters. McCann, a veteran firefighter started developing the Badaxx in 2012 and now has a working prototype that he's hoping to get into production.

The Badaxx is a combination of the two types of axes traditionally carried by firefighters in the line of duty, the pick ax and the flathead ax. McCann combined the two and added other features to create a tool that will help first responders do their jobs more efficiently and potentially save lives.

He says due to the evolution of building materials over the years, a lot more plastic is used now which allows fires to spread more quickly. This puts firefighters in dangerous situations more often.

"We can actually find ourselves farther into a house with changing fire conditions and actually get trapped," says McCann. "With this if somebody gets trapped above the ground floor you could set it into any kind of building material and hook into it and use a bailout kit rope to repel down to safety."

The anchor feature is one of the new developments that McCann feels will be a big asset to those in the line of duty. So far he says there is a lot of interest in the product.

"I've actually got interest from about forty different countries where people are watching this and seeing what goes on," McCann tells KHQ.

To get the prototype into production and eventually distributed, McCann started a Kickstarter campaign for the multi-utility ax and has a funding goal of $75,000.

At last the time of this article he was in the $65,000 range. He only has ten days left to reach that monetary goal, but the Kickstarter campaign has it's drawbacks.

"If we don't reach the $75,000 goal, we receive nothing. It's all or nothing funding," says McCann.

There are several levels on the site at which you can contribute. The minimum contribution is only $5.00 but larger contributors could actually receive an ax, if the goal is met.

McCann says he has been using the Badaxx on his truck for several months now and is hoping to get them out to every state. For every six contributors of $50 or more they will send a Badaxx to a different state fire department. So far, six other states have been recipients.