07 August, 2018

Neoteric Rescue Hovercraft excel in Homeland Security exercise

Last week, three Neoteric rescue hovercraft were featured in a major Indiana Department of Homeland Security flood rescue exercise, attended by the Directors of numerous Emergency Management Agencies.

The attendees expressed great surprise at how fast Neoteric hovercraft can maneuver and perform water and flood rescues. After all, Neoteric craft can safely and successfully complete these rescues in a quarter of the time it would take with boats!  

The event took place at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex in southern Indiana, the Department of Defense’s largest urban training facility – and immediately appeared as the cover story in the IDHS publication, The Hoosier Responder

Neoteric Vice President Steve Stafford arranged for the hovercraft to perform in the exercise. Stafford is also a Captain with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and the founder of Project H.E.R.O. (Hovercraft Emergency Response Operations), a non-profit organization that uses Neoteric hovercraft to assist rescue and law enforcement agencies in search and rescue missions.

Along with Steve and Susie Stafford with their Project H.E.R.O. hovercraft, other participants included Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald with a Neoteric flight training hovercraft and first responders from the White River Hazleton Fire Department with their Neoteric rescue hovercraft.

Fire Chief Mark Ellis came to the exercise already impressed with the performance of his department’s hovercraft. As he says, “Our hovercraft can go right over a log, rocky shallow waters, sand, mud, you name it.

The Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex is used for a variety of training scenarios by a multitude of civilian and military organizations, both foreign and domestic. The 974-acre site offers a globally unique urban and rural multi-domain environment that includes a 180-acre reservoir and more than 120 structures. As described on its website, the facility is “As Real As It Gets.”

As for the Neoteric rescue hovercraft, as this exercise demonstrated, when it comes to water rescue vehicles, they’re as fast, safe and effective as it gets!

Enjoy these few photos of the training exercise, then don’t miss the full gallery …

The attendees playing the roles of victims take their places on the submerged structures
at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex.
The three Neoteric hovercraft prepare to launch and perform flood rescue exercises.
Steve Stafford pilots his Project H.E.R.O. Neoteric rescue hovercraft.
White River Hazleton Fire Department's Neoteric hovercraft performs a water rescue.

First responders:

05 August, 2018

Rose-Hulman and Neoteric Hovercraft team up for student success

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology – the #1 undergraduate engineering college in the U.S. for nearly 20 years – employs the ideal tool to create enthusiasm for science and engineering among students: the Neoteric hovercraft!

As the most recent example of Rose-Hulman’s 35-year collaboration with Neoteric, the institute’s popular Operation Catapult summer program brought 30 high school seniors from the U.S. and other nations to visit Neoteric’s manufacturing facility.

As Rose-Hulman describes Operation Catapult, “It’s a tasty taco of science, engineering and math awesomeness, with layers of savory STEM opportunities in a delicious shell of fun that lets rising high school seniors reach into robotics, or do cool things like brew biodiesel or make a machine from scratch.”

And that’s just what the students did - the tour helped them design a working hovercraft!

Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald welcomes the first team of students from Rose-Hulman’s Operation Catapult program.
After the Neoteric tour, Operation Catapult’s Assistant Director, Professor John Aidoo, reported that the students found the tour “very interesting and informative. This is about my 5th visit to the plant. I always find the workers very professional and helpful toward the high school kids. I have been impressed and encouraged by our relationship with Neoteric. We hope that in the near future we can invite some of your engineers to be guest speakers during Operation Catapult.”

Professor Aidoo added, “Operation Catapult is one of the major recruiting tools used by Rose-Hulman. About 30% of the students in Operation Catapult attend Rose after graduating from high school.

Rose-Hulman Professor of Engineering John Aidoo (left) and Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald (right) pose with Operation Catapult students in Neoteric’s hovercraft manufacturing facility.
Other Rose-Hulman professors who have brought students to Neoteric over the years echo Professor Aidoo’s comments. As one example, Dr. Diane Evans, Professor of Engineering Management, said this after bringing her Master’s Degree students to visit Neoteric:

I decided that I’d like this seminar to be an opportunity to show the students some companies that practice quality in the workplace. I had been to Neoteric before during an American Society of Quality (ASQ) tour and I knew the students would really appreciate what Chris is doing … This is one of the best tours on which I’ve taken students. There were so many aspects of the visit that pertained to what I teach – for example, the Kanban system and the Toyota Production System process. Chris’ dedication to continued learning and growing is inspirational.”

Neoteric is honored to have such a long-standing relationship with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. It began 35 years ago, when Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald was selected as Rose-Hulman’s very first Entrepreneur in Residence. Since then, scores of Rose-Hulman students find internships, employment and participation in special engineering projects at Neoteric.

We at Neoteric, as always, enjoyed our visit with the Operation Catapult students, and we look forward to continuing our valuable relationship with Rose-Hulman for years to come.