Irwin Industrial Tools, a Newell Rubbermaid company and maker of the Irwin VISE-GRIP, recently announced that Dr.Bryan Foxof Chesapeake, Va., was selected as the winner of the “Tell Us Your Irwin VISE-GRIP Story” promotion. Fox, an orthopedic surgeon for the United States Navy, was honored for using an Irwin VISE-GRIP to perform spinal surgery during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
member of the U.S. Navy for more than 25 years, Fox found a unique use for his
VISE-GRIP as a spine surgeon on the battlefield in the Middle East. In the heat
of battle, he needed to perform emergency spinal surgery on a soldier who had a
combination of screws and rods that had been implanted into his infected spine.
Complicating the medical challenges at hand, Fox did not have access to the
specialized tools necessary to deal with the soldier’s different spine
did, however, have access to a pair of VISE-GRIP locking pliers. He sterilized
his VISE-GRIP tools and used them to remove the rods and screws from the
soldier’s infected spine, effectively saving his life.
the winner of the promotion, Fox was awarded an Irwin VISE-GRIP custom-branded
chopper valued at $25,000, built by East Coast Custom Cycles.
“As a lifelong fan of Irwin
VISE-GRIP tools, I’m thrilled to be selected as the winner of the ‘Tell Us Your
VISE-GRIP Story’ contest,” said Fox. “Irwin VISE-GRIP tools allowed me to save
lives on the battlefield. If you can’t fix it with VISE-GRIP tools, duct tape
and a bigger hammer - it can’t be fixed.”
years, Irwin has received hundreds of unsolicited stories from professional
tradesmen, contractors and do-it-yourselfers about the unique ways they’ve used
a VISE-GRIP product outside of its traditional use to solve various problems
either in a pinch or as a permanent solution. From July-October 2008, consumers
were asked to share the different and exceptional ways they have used VISE-GRIP
locking pliers or wrenches to solve various problems in the workplace or at
received more than 850 stories describing how consumers used VISE-GRIP tools in
different situations ranging from spine surgery to car repair during the length
of the promotion. Fifty submissions were selected as finalists and consumers
voted to select the best three entries. The winner was selected from the top
three finalists by a panel of judges made up of industry experts in education,
training, retail, motorsports and manufacturing.
other finalists for the promotion werePaul
Schrapsof San Rafael, Calif., andPaul
Smithof Valley Center, Calif., who won second and third place,
respectively. Schraps shared how he held his truck’s exhaust system together
while driving his mother to receive cancer treatments in Mexico. Those same
VISE-GRIP locking pliers are still holding Schraps’ exhaust system together 28
years later. Smith lost a brake line during the grueling Baja 500, and he used
his VISE-GRIP locking pliers to maintain power on his remaining brakes to
finish the difficult race.
was awarded a $1,000 Cabela’s gift card for his second-place entry and Smith
received a $500 Cabela’s gift card for his third-place entry. All three
finalists received an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas where the grand prize