A Duluth-based company got an early Christmas gift this year thanks to a flurry of Twin Cities media coverage of its product around Dec. 13.
The St. Paul Fire Department purchased about a dozen of the ARM-LOC rescue devices, created and sold through Water Rescue Innovations, owned by Connie Sylvester of Duluth. KSTP-TV, KARE11 and Fox 9 did reports on the sale and the training. Twin Cities newspaper, The Pioneer Press had an added twist when, less than two hours after Sylvester helped to train firefighters on the new equipment, it was put to use on McCarrons Lake in Roseville, where a cross-country skier fell through the ice.
ARM-LOC made its debut in about 2014 and a lot of innovations have gone into the basic design since then, Sylvester said. Basically, the sleeve of the ARM-LOC inflates, much like a blood-pressure cuff, though in a more sophisticated way and with enough pressure to be able to drag someone from the water, either during winter or other times of year. The product has sold around the country, including to the Los Angeles Police Department.