HARTLAND -- It is a game-changing new tool that could revolutionize fire rescue forever, and it's not just keeping local firefighters safe. It could save your home.
"Having one of these in my house or your house may save your life," Rick Cohn said.
Cohn is the owner of Slinger's Ten 2 Communications, and distributor of a product which could revolutionize fire rescue.
"I thought of numerous fires that I was involved in, that if we had this product, guys wouldn`t have ended up going to the hospital," Cohn said.
He spent three decades as a first responder, so Cohn knows the risks for responding to a fire.
"Basement fire is one that always comes to mind. Most houses, there`s one way to get into a basement, and one way out, and to get into that basement, you gotta go through the heated gases at the ceiling," Cohn said.
Or -- you attack the flames from the outside. Sure, water works, but it'll do some damage.
"If you have a fire on the fourth floor of a hotel and the sprinkler head goes off, water damage is not only gonna be to the fourth floor, the third floor, the second floor, all the way down," Cohn said.
Of course, water damage is better than fire damage, but you may be able to avoid both.
"It`s just another great tool in our toolbox that`s gonna make our environment and the public safer," Cohn said.
That tool is the X-Tinguish FST, as in "fire suppression tool." It allows anyone battling a structure fire to do their work without being within the walls.
Simply put, you pull the pin and throw it in.
"Once you pull the pin, you have eight seconds to throw the product into the fire. It doesn`t have to be at the base of the fire, it just needs to be in the room or the area. The dry aerosol will then fill this room up to 5,000 cubic feet and suppress the fire," Cohn said.
Once the fire is out, it's easy to clean up.
"It can be cleaned up with a vacuum, if cleaned up, we say, within 24-48 hours. It`s just like cleaning up talcum powder," Cohn said.
Cohn makes it sound good -- almost unbelievably good.
"My first thought was, 'No way! It's too good to be true,'" Hartland Fire Chief David Dean said.
Dean's healthy skepticism comes from his more than 25 years in fire service. But his mind was changed when he saw the X-Tinguish FST at work.
"They threw this device into this burning inferno and we could see the temperature drop, drop, drop, drop, and extinguish the flames. It was like nothing I had seen before," Dean said.
The Hartland Fire Department got two of these devices, and months later...
"I came around the corner, and (flames) were just flying out of the dishwasher," Gail Stapleton said.
Stapleton called 911.
"This residence was on fire -- occupied -- both people were inside the house," Dean said.
When Dean arrived at the scene, two standard fire extinguishers were already empty.
"Slows it down, but couldn't put it out -- couldn't do the job," Dean said.
So Dean gave the X-Tinguish FST a try.
"I run it up, hand it off to him. He pulls the pin, opens the door, slides it into the kitchen area. We exit and within 30 seconds we had nothing. It was all completely out," Dean said.
When Stapleton got back into her kitchen, it was what she didn't see that impressed her the most.
"We wondered, 'where is all the water?' It truly is a little miracle machine," Stapleton said.
"We believe so much in this new device that we have one in every one of our police cars here in Hartland," Dean said.
And it's not just first responders digging this device.
"In the last couple of months, we`ve sold probably 20 units to different farmers around the state of Wisconsin," Cohn said.
As you might expect, Cohn has an X-Tinguish FST in his home, and he makes sure his neighbor does too.
"So if something would happen at their house, we`ve got one that, you know, we could go over there and throw it in and help hopefully save them. Or if something would happen at our house, he could bring his over to our house," Cohn said.
Cohn says the next move for the X-Tinguish FST involves the device becoming part of a fixed fire suppression system for residences -- in which case it might replace a traditional fire extinguisher, be mounted on a wall, activated by a heat sensor, and yet, still remain portable.
Cohn says units function at temperatures as low as 65 below zero. They cost $650 and a little less for government entities. They last 15 years, and the only maintenance involves replacing the handle every five years.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the X-Tinguish FST.