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December 20, 2017

The Indiana State Police recently received a lifesaving tool that will be given to every trooper working the road thanks to a generous donation from one of their own. The Escape100 tool was one way for me to give back to the people of Indiana and hopefully save a life, commented Master Trooper Detective Robert May. The Escape100 tool is designed to brake car windows and cut seatbelts.

May, who was on the state police dive team for 21 years, said “I found it was the best way to break a car window above and below the water.” May used his own funds to purchase 700 Escape100 tools for troopers patrolling Indiana roads. The Escape100 tool can be used in any event where a window needs to be broken.

For May it has become a passion of his to educate the public and first responders alike on escaping a vehicle that is immersed in water and has made it a personal goal to educate as many as he can. May has appeared on both local and national television programs promoting the steps to escape a car in the water.

A few years ago May was approached by a women after her grandson drowned in a car. May and the State Police Dive Team became very active in educating people on escaping vehicle immersions. This then led May to partner with vehicle immersion expert Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht from the University of Manitoba, and Laurent Colasse, the inventor of the Escape100 tool.

If your car goes into the water you will have about one minute to exit, you should immediately:

  • Seatbelts: take seatbelts off or cut
  • Windows: open or break the side windows
  • Children: undo their restraints and get them out oldest to youngest
  • Out: exit through the window, children first.


After exiting climb onto the roof and wait for help, or prepare to swim or wade out. Always attempt to roll down your window. Even power windows will typically still work for a period of time in the water.

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