Matt Keogh, a former Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue firefighter and member of the UKISAR team, created the WASP, or Warning Alarm for Stability Protection, specifically to protect urban search and rescue (USAR) colleagues during daring earthquake rescues.
Since launch, in 2016, the WASP has been exported to 17 countries around the world and received international media interest and was crowned ‘New to Export’ winners at the Northern Powerhouse Exports Awards 2019.
The portable device has been acquired by the French based LEADER GROUP and will now be manufactured in France and supplied around the world by the Leader Group global network of dealers.
The acquisition is a fitting reward for inventor Matt Keogh, who worked tirelessly to turn his dream into a reality.
Since its launch, at The Emergency Services Show in 2016, the WASP has become part of everyday fire fighting and rescue kit, and is now being used in countries across the world.
Matt Keogh said, “I am delighted the WASP has become part of the LEADER GROUP. They are one of the world’s leading suppliers of USAR and fire fighting equipment across the world and they will provide the WASP with the platform this lifesaving piece of equipment deserves. The WASP will sit alongside their huge product range and I am sure that will mean more firefighters and rescue workers will come into daily contact with the product.
“It is an immensely proud moment for me and is the culmination of many years’ hard work, research and development. I have nursed and nurtured the WASP from concept through to creation and now LEADER can take it to another level. This is a very special moment and proof that hard work and persistence really does pay off.”
The WASP is a portable safety monitoring device designed to protect emergency service personnel as they work in precarious scenarios. It provides warning of movement from 0.1° to 2.6° and/or vibration from 0.5Hz to 100Hz, with both an audible and visual alarm.
The WASP, is highly durable, and attaches to any surface in any position via a number of attachments. It was initially created to protect USAR workers deployed to earthquakes and other disasters but is now being used in a variety of everyday fire fighting rescue scenarios.
Most notably, the WASP played a crucial role in the aftermath of the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy in the UK. London Fire Brigade deployed 11 WASP units to monitor for movement of the stricken in the building following the fire, which claimed 72 lives.
Keogh, added, “It has been incredible to see how quickly the WASP has become part of everyday fire fighting and rescue kit. It is so adaptable for so many scenarios. What is particularly pleasing for me, is that it is the rescue workers themselves who are talking about and recommending the WASP because they recognise its ability to save lives.
“It has been a tremendous journey and now LEADER can take the WASP to the next level. The WASP has an exciting future with LEADER.”
The WASP will complement Leader’s SENTRY safety monitoring system, which uses laser beam technology to also provide stability monitoring on many scenarios. The new Leader SENTRY can be positioned up to 50m distance from unstable structures to trigger an 115dB alarm in case of weak movement detected (from 2 to 100mm). It is fitted with a wireless remote control with integrated siren to alert in the rescuer’s pocket.
LEADER GROUP President Thierry Delerue, said, “The WASP has played a crucial role in protecting firefighters and rescue workers and we see it tremendous potential for the product. We are delighted to be able to take it forward and invest in its future. It sits perfectly alongside our range of fire fighting and USAR products.
Matt Keogh will work with LEADER GROUP as a Search and Rescue consultant and will train the company’s global dealer team and end-users worldwide.