Onside PR client WASP Rescue will celebrate their third anniversary by joining forces with the Leader Group.
Matt Keogh created the WASP, or Warning Alarm for Stability Protection, specifically to protect Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) colleagues during daring earthquake rescues.
Since launching in 2016, the WASP has been exported to 17 countries around the world and was crowned ‘New to Export’ winners at the UK Northern Powerhouse Exports Awards 2019.
It 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 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 firefighting and rescue kit, and is now being used in countries across the world.
WASP Rescue founder 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 firefighting 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 hardwork 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 firefighting rescue scenarios.
It was deployed following the Bayernoil Refinery explosion, during the rescue of Alpine residents tapped by heavy snow in Germany and Austria and after the discovery of an unexploded World War Two bomb in Birmingham.
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 firefighting 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 a 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.
These two products are complementary: WASP is fixed to the structure, and SENTRY monitors at distance. This makes Leader the only company worldwide to provide alternatives in this crucial area of incident safety.
Leader Group was established in 1985 with the specific goal of ‘making products that would save lives’ in the firefighting and rescue fields. They now supply equipment all around the world.
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 firefighting and USAR products.
“The WASP was created by Matt because, as a firefighter on the ground he truly understood what was required to make a difference.
“We are delighted to welcome him to our team and look forward to future success together and for the WASP.”
Keogh will work with LEADER Group as a Search and Rescue consultant and will train their global dealer team and end-users worldwide.