SANFORD, N.C. Lee County Emergency Services received one of the first Afterburner 2000 smoke generators ever produced, thanks to a donation from Red Wolf, the Sanford-based company manufacturing the revolutionary new product.
Red Wolf, a contract manufacturer, donated the Afterburner 2000 along with a high-capacity backpack and portable recharging station, a package sold nationally for about $12,000.
The donation was announced May 25 following a product demonstration attended by more than 40 area leaders working in industry and emergency services.
"We understand how effective this product is and how important it will be for law enforcement and emergency services everywhere," says Kim Sutton, president of Red Wolf. "It's manufactured here, so we want our own community to be the first to have all of the benefits it offers."
Developed by MSI Delivery Systems Inc. of Rocky Mount, N.C., and manufactured in partnership with Red Wolf, Afterburner 2000 is described as a "man-portable, multi-mission aerosol delivery system" capable of rapidly blanketing large areas with dense smoke.
Afterburner 2000 is designed to generate smoke for fire and rescue emergency training as well as emergency response for police and military operations. It has many other wide-ranging uses, from generating special effects in the entertainment industry to leak testing.
Though the product is just entering production, it already has been demonstrated to rave reviews in on-site simulations recreating situations as diverse as aircraft accidents and prison riots.
Felix Batts, chairman and CEO for MSI Delivery Systems Inc., says those initial demonstrations have resulted in orders being received now from military bases, federal and state prison bureaus and a variety of other customers.
Shane Seagroves, director of Lee County Emergency Management, accepted the donation and believes it will have a wide range of benefits for the community.
"The uses of the Afterburner 2000 are unlimited," says Seagroves. "It will be used as a tactical tool for the Lee County Sheriff's Office and for training purposes for law enforcement, the fire department and EMS. The ongoing support of Red Wolf in our community will enable emergency services to be better prepared to handle the many emergencies we face daily."
The Lee County Economic Development Corp. is a nonprofit organization established to attract industry, enhance job opportunities and promote sound planning across Lee County. Funding is provided by the county, as well as the City of Sanford and Town of Broadway, the county's two municipalities.