ResQ Disc was invented in the late 1990s by Mechanical Engineer Dr. Thomas Sytko after the death of his youngest son. Since then the ResQ Disc has been used in an estimated 3000 successful water and ice rescues by both first responders and outdoor / water enthusiasts alike.

The ResQ Disc is touted as the safest, most effective water and ice rescue device as it was designed to keep the rescuer from becoming a victim themselves… many untrained individuals, in an effort to be a Good Samaritan, unthinkingly will enter the water and end up needing to be rescued as well.

While other products like a throw bag or life ring may have a throw line, none are as lightweight as the ResQ Disc and none will fly like a frisbee into wind. Its aerodynamic feature allows the rescuer to more quickly, easily and accurately reach its target while keeping the rescuer safely ashore.

In the late 2010s, prompted by barge companies and boaters, Dr. Sytko added the Protective Cover/Quick Release ResQ Bag to the product line, helping to extend the life of the already durable and long-lasting device and provide a way to anchor the device while still allowing easy access in the event of a water or ice emergency.

Estimated Lives Saved

Retired USCG Master Chief demonstrates the ResQ Disc as well as other water rescue devices in this short video.

Who Uses ResQ Disc?

While the main focus of Save A Life™ (manufacturer of ResQ Disc™) has been and will always be to save as many lives from drowning as possible, the company’s initial goal was to get this superior device into every squad car, fire truck, water vessel, ATV and snowmobile at first responder agencies with any type of natural water or reservoir in their jurisdiction. Now after multiple upgrades for the professionals, the company is hoping that all 17 million boats registered in the US along with individuals and families who work or play around water will be equipped with this water and ice emergency life-saving device.

Police, Fire, Sheriff, and Other First Responder Agencies

Border Patrol, Park Rangers, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security

Boaters, Kayakers, JetSkiiers, Hikers and Outdoor/Water Enthusiasts

  • Police Departments
  • Sheriff’s Offices
  • Fire and Rescue Units
  • US Coast Guard
  • Power Squadrons
  • US Border Patrol
  • Yacht Clubs
  • Barge Companies
  • Oil Rigs
  • Marinas
  • EMTs and Other First Responders
  • Lifeguards
  • Homeowners
  • Boaters
  • Boat and Water Vessel Rental Companies
  • Universities
  • Security Companies
  • And So Many Others!

Estimated Lives Saved


Reported Rescues

Fort Benning Fire Department
Stranded kayaker in swift water from flooding on Upatoi Creek saved with ResQ Disc!
Fort Benning, GA
April 2014

Saginaw County Sheriff's Office
14-year-old girl rescued from pond after falling through ice
Birch Run, MI
February 2012

US Border Patrol
23 lives saved since 2008!
El Paso, TX
2008 - Present

US Border Patrol
28 lives saved since 2008!
El Centro, CA
2008 - Present

US Border Patrol
51 lives saved since 2008!
Yuma, AZ
2008 - Present

Michigan Police
Snowmobilers rescued after falling through ice on lake
Higgins Lake, MI January 2011

Evanston Police
2 swimmers rescued from Lake Michigan
Evanston IL
August 2008

U S Homeland Security Border Patrol
40 men, women and children rescued from river
El Centro CA
2003 to 2007

U S Homeland Security Border Patrol
57 men women and children rescued from river
Yuma AZ
2004 to 2006

Vestal Police
11 year old boy rescued from icy pond
Vestel NY
January 2008

Blanchester Police Department
Young boy rescued from swift Water river
Blanchester, OH
June 2008

Milford Fire Department
Young Boy in capsized canoe rescued
Milford, OH
June 2008

Paul Rambo
(ResQ Disc owner)

1 male fisherman, swift water river rescue
Detroit, MI
July, 2002

Ridgefield Park Police
Women, Swift Water river rescue
New Jersey
April 2008

Fort Lauderdale Life Guards
2 male lifeguards and 2 male victims rescued from Atlantic Ocean
Fort Lauderdale, FL
June 2006

Savier County Search & Rescue
6 teenagers (one day) White Water rapids
Knoxville, TN
May 2003

Ionia Fire Department
2 elderly men in capsized boat in 35 degree water rescued
Ionia, IA
April 2002

Sewall’s Point Police Department
2 male, river rescues
Sewall’s Point, FL
Feburary, 2004

Burton Fire Department
1 teenage boy & mother, swift water river rescue
Burton, OH
June, 2001

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department
2 girls, cold swift water river rescue
Hannawa Falls, NY
May 2003

Onieda County Sheriff’s Department
2 adults, Swamped boat in Onieda Lake
Onieda, NY
August 2002

Canton Police Department
17 year old boy, ice rescue in Grass River
Canton, NY
January, 2002

Park Falls Police Department
Male dog, River ice rescue
Park Falls, WI
March, 2002

Bridgeport Township Police Department
male, Pond Ice rescue
Bridgeport, MI
Feburary, 2002

Foster City police Department
1 male bridge river rescue
San Mateo, CA
January, 2000

Dequeen Lake DNR
female adult and teenage boy, Dam rescue
De Queen Lake, AR
August, 1999

City of Napa Police Department
1 75 year old woman, Bridge river rscue
Napa, CA
June 2000

U S Border Patrol El Paso, TX
1 male, river rescue
El Paso, TX
June 2000

Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol
1 male, 1 female jet ski, open ocean
Santa Barbara, CA
October, 1999

Kennebunk Police Department
Teenage boy bridge jump, river rescue
Kennebunk, ME
May, 1999

Clearwater Fire Department
1 male bridge river rescue
Clearwater, FL
November 1997

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Device Comparison

Short video showing the original ResQ Disc (now improved and upgraded) and comparing devices with an actual throw.

When choosing a throwable emergency water rescue device, most often people will think of the life ring which is approved by the USCG as a Type IV Personal Floatation Device (PFD). A Type 4 PFD is required on all water vessels. However, it is just that… a floatation device. Designed to keep the victim afloat until rescuers can get to them, life rings are required to have 22 lbs. of floatation. While ResQ Disc has more than enough pounds of floatation to keep even the heaviest individual’s head above water (5 lbs.) and is RECOMMENDED as additional equipment by USCG, its purpose to to actually RESCUE the victim while keeping the rescuer safe.

The ResQ Disc was tested by the United State Coast Guard with outstanding results. Not only was the testing team able to throw the device into 20 knot winds, they were able to deploy in under 15 seconds and redeploy in under 30 seconds.

Below is a chart comparing the most popular water rescue equipment.

Rope Length
(can accurately be thrown into wind)
Used for Ice Rescue?
Cover/Storage Available?
US-based Manufacturer /
Small Business
Throw Bag
50' - 80'
12"L x 6" diam.
2 lbs. 4 oz.
Probably not?
$70 avg.
? / NO
Life Ring
~ 50'
24" - 30" diam
5.5 - 9.5 lbs.
But not really...
$75 - $150+
YES, add $80-$400+
? / NO
ResQ Disc
12" diam x 2"H
2 lbs.
Into winds up to 20 knots as tested by USCG
VERY Safe and Effective for Water AND Ice Rescues!
YES, add $35

Awards and Recognition

Award-winning, Life-Saving Device, ResQ Disc™

  • Received The American Police
    Hall of Fame & Museum
    “Michael The Archangel Knighthoods For Public Service” Award
  • Received the USPS/MB&S Chapman Safety Award

Related Links:

U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary National Web Site

United States Power Squadrons®

International Association of Fire Chiefs

International Association of Chiefs of Police