Superior-made rescue device to be featured on cable TV show
A life-saving invention born in the Twin Ports was put to the test Tuesday at Barker’s Island in Superior — with a Discovery Channel Canada film crew on hand.
The crew from the science and technology show “Daily Planet” was highlighting the Arm-Loc, invented and designed by Duluth resident Ron Lanthier and produced by Superior-based company Water Rescue Innovations.
The Arm-Loc is a portable, one-size-fits-all device that tightly inflates and locks around a person’s arm. It floats and has a rope attached, allowing rescue crews to pull them to safety.
“It was one of those things that just happened,” Water Rescue Innovations’ Connie Sylvester — Lanthier’s sister — said of the filming. “One of the people we are working with, he was working with the Discovery Channel and he had an Arm-Loc and he popped it off on the producers hand, and they decided they wanted to do a story on us as well.”
The camera crew needed a real-life demonstration of how the product works, so Rudy Prouty of Innerspace Scuba Center in Hermantown volunteered to portray a victim that had fallen through thin ice. Prouty, who has been involved in water rescue missions for 25 years, said he is a firm believer in the product.
“I’ve never had to use it yet myself. But I’m going to have one with me all the time, because it really does work really well,” Prouty said, after he was pulled from the icy water by out-of-town rescue crews. “It does exactly what it was invented and designed to do.”
After filming at Barker’s Island, the camera crew planned to head to Cloquet in the afternoon and work with the Cloquet Fire Department to show how the Arm-Loc can work on rescuing a person from a burning building and other tight spaces.
“We’ve been selling Arm-Locs all over the country. Our last sale was actually to one of the largest gold mines in the world,” Sylvester said. “We are not only selling it for water rescue but also confined-space rescue and other types of rescue.”