The Quick-Finders™ system was invented by Joe Carolan, a 21-year veteran firefighter, past fire chief, burn survivor and valor award recipient. With a gift he received from the Morris County 200 Club for his part in a FAST Team save of a brother firefighter, he started Quick-Finders L.L.C. with the aspiration of one day saving more lives of firefighters and civilians.
After completing the fire academy and going to his first working fire, Joe knew then that he wanted to be a career firefighter. However, Joe’s dream was cut short the day before his physical fitness test when an industrial accident left him with burns over 20% of his body with 2nd and 3rd degree burns to the face, chest, arms and legs. Joe’s burns required skin graft surgery and five weeks of treatment in the St. Barnabas Burn Center, as well as 18 months of outpatient care and rehabilitation. Even though Joe wasn’t able to become a career firefighter, he continued to serve on his local volunteer fire department and rescue squad.
Burn injuries are one of the most painful injuries that can happen to a person, and sadly, more than half of all burn victims are children under the age of 5. This age group also accounts for the highest number of fire fatalities in the U.S. each year. During his stay at the burn center, Joe would often help the nurses with the injured children by walking them up and down the hallways in their strollers, which would allow the nurses time to tend to other patients. As a father, Joe was deeply affected by this and he knew then that he wanted to do something to help prevent anyone, especially children, from having to deal with such a painful injury.
A few years later, while training with his fire department, Joe came up with the idea for Quick-Finders™. Firefighters are taught to search each room by placing their right or left hand on the wall and follow it around the room while sweeping the center of the room for potential victims. This approach is very time consuming, and Joe knew that he had to find a more efficient and faster way to search, and at that moment, the Quick-Finders™ concept was born. Joe began to diligently work on his idea and did a lot of research to develop Quick-Finders™.
Then on Valentine’s Day in 2000, Joe was dispatched to a basement fire in a home as part of the fire department’s FAST Team (Firefighter, Assistant, Search, Team). Ordinarily the FAST Team is called to a fire scene as a precautionary measure in the event that a firefighter becomes trapped, and for this particular fire, the decision to call in the FAST Team paid off. Almost as soon as Joe’s department arrived on the scene, there was a mayday alert that a firefighter was trapped in the basement. Joe and the other 3 members of the FAST Team quickly went to work and found the trapped firefighter just in the nick of time. A year later Joe and the other FAST Team members were recognized for their bravery by the Senate and they received a gift from the 200 Club. Joe then used this gift to create Quick-Finders LLC while continuing to follow his dream of saving lives and promoting fire safety.
Since then, Joe was issued patent number US 7,196,614 B2 for his Quick-Finders™ invention and has been working with fire departments, schools, senior citizen groups and other community groups to help spread the word about the Quick-Finders™ program. Joe has also attended various trade shows and seminars to continually educate the fire service industry about the benefits of Quick-Finders™. Joe remains an active member of the Rockaway Borough Volunteer Fire Department and continues to dedicate his life to saving lives.