Date published: May 10, 2010
How often have we watched something on the news or read an article in the paper and said to ourselves, "Somebody really should do something about that"?
Well, Richie Stimpson of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, is that "somebody." Back in 1 999, Stimpson saw on the news the tragic story of 39-year-old Richard Silvia. Silvia heroically saved a 14-yearold boy who had fallen through some ice, but, sadly. Silvia himself died from being submerged in the icy water for 45 minutes during the rescue. Stimpson was very affected by the tragedy of the situation. He told the April 4. 2010 Boston Globe. "That man's heart was in the right place. It shouldn't have happened that way." Wishing that someone would do something about that, Stimpson decided that that someone should be him.
Stimpson started cogitating on some way of freeing those who fall through ice without the rescuer having to go into the frigid water. He spent the next four years researching his idea, and developed the first Secure-A-Life rope. Then for an additional five years he collected information and advice from local police and fire departments to perfect his invention. Now the Secure-A-Life rope is available for rescue personnel to use to more quickly retrieve victims from the water, without anyone having to go in after them.
Because of its unique design, the Secure-A-Life rope can be accurately thrown up to 100 feet to a victim, allowing the rescuer to remain on solid ground. As a person in frigid water loses fine motor abilities just seconds after being submerged, the special rope is designed to be secured around the distressed person's wrist or arm with only gross motor movements. All the victim has to do is put his arm through a loop and tug on the rope; that tug not only secures the rope, but is the signal for the rescuer to begin pulling the submerged person to safety.
Stimpson's invention has been praised by police officers for its many benefits, and has already been successfully used by local officers to great advantage. In hopes that many tragedies can be averted by his invention, Stimpson is working hard promoting his device to other public safety departments. Why did Stimpson invest nine years of his life in this? "I'm just trying to make a difference," he told the Globe. "I see it as my purpose in life." Many lives may be saved because of this man's willingness to "do something about that."