Can a backpack change lives—or, even better, save lives? It can, if it’s an EDGE Backpack designed and recently patented by Casey Husband, ’20, in response to the mass shootings that began filling the mainstream news more frequently when he was in high school.
“I wondered if there was anything that could be done to assist first responders in their efforts to minimize casualties and save lives in these scenarios,” recalls Husband, who proceeded to call as many police departments in the top 100 most populous U.S. cities to research what equipment might help in an active-shooter scenario.
The result was the transformative EDGE Backpack, which quickly detaches for first-responder access to medical supplies during such emergencies. Husband tested “countless” iterations with police departments and eventually filed for, and successfully earned, a patent to protect the unique and innovative design. “The tactical gear industry is filled with companies copying each other's designs,” says Husband, who persisted through several denials and three years of paperwork for the approval. He’s also founded a company called Lazarus, which is now focusing on commercial manufacturing and international sales to address global security threats.
“Innovation at UVM is growing in leaps and bounds,” says Dan Harvey, UVM’s Director of Operations to the Vice President for Research. “There’s a resounding yes echoing across campus to entrepreneurship and working toward not only answering the important basic science questions, but also applying that knowledge to applying solutions.”