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Universal Safety Response

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Company: Universal Safety Response, Franklin, TN
Company Description: Universal Safety Response entails inventing, producing and marketing barriers and security technology products. The concept of USR was brought to fruition in 1994 after Matt Gelfand, founder, viewed an incident at a crossing in Long Island, NY. Since its inception, USR has created innovative products that have saved lives and reduced fatalities.
Nomination Category: Company Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Most Innovative Company of the Year

Nomination Title: Universal Safety Response

Tell the story about what this nominated company achieved since January 1 2008 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Universal Safety Response entails the inventing, producing and marketing of
barriers and security technology products.  The concept of the company was
brought to fruition in 1994 after Matt Gelfand, founder and president, viewed
an incident at a crossing in Long Island, NY.  After that occurrence, Matt
wanted to create a product that saved lives first and foremost.  Leaving Wall
Street behind, he pursued his idea and later, the inception of Universal Safety
Response.  Matt later received a grant to develop a barrier that was both
efficient and could meet crash tests.  Research and development ensued.  After
testing, USR not only passed the crash test in 2001 with high scores, but it
passed with its first barrier on the first attempt. 

Universal Safety Response has made several accomplishments for the 2008 year. 
Along with phenomenal growth, it has introduced more products designed to fit
the needs of each specific customer.  In April, the company expanded its
business scope to physical perimeter security with the GRAB barrier being the
flagship of the product line.  This positioned USR as the leader as a turnkey
perimeter security supplier.  In July of 2008, their newest product, the GRAB-
300, successfully passed a crash test initiated by the American Society for
Testing and Materials.  Even with high standards Universal Safety Response
passed with flying colors.  GRAB is an acronym for Ground Retractable
Automobile Barrier and consists of a net that can eject in three seconds with
pistons.  This device can absorb the motion of an approaching vehicle up to 48
miles per hour.   What makes the product so unique is that not only does the
driver step out of the automobile with little to no injury but the product is
reusable. The GRAB can be reset and reused in little time.  Each new product
introduced to the market has met safety standards and saved countless lives. 
This reputation for such high standard made Universal Safety Response the
leader as a security integrator.  USR now introduces a full array of barriers
and technological devices which includes seven different active security
barriers, eight assorted passive security barriers and five different types of
access control/perimeter-intrusion detection systems.  Many of these products
either have patents or the patents are pending. 

Since the beginning, Universal Safety Response aimed at presenting the concept
of the GRAB-sp barrier and identifying ways to shape it to meet market needs. 
Many of the early challenges included addressing various deployment methods and
speeds, environmental effects, reliable operation, low maintenance, ease of
installation, etc.  Most of all, the challenge existed in the request for
barrier function.  The main goal of each barrier designed was to stop a high
speed vehicle in a short distance with little to no damage to the passenger. 
Also, each barrier had to go through highly stringent federal government
standards.  USR has met all those challenges head on and exceeded all
expectations from both the ASTM and clients.  This is why Universal Safety
Response is, presently, the only leading manufacturer of reduced risk active
vehicle barriers in the industry. 

List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, []:

Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated company:

Matt Gelfand, a New York native, was a volunteer fireman in Long Island, NY. 
It seems surprising that a young man with a BA (acquired in 1988), an MBA
(acquired in 1992) and years on Wall Street would make such a drastic change to
go into the security integration field.  He is also a community civilian
officer for the police department in Brentwood, Tennessee.  Besides being a
successful business owner, he is a family man with a beautiful wife and child
that keeps him busy as well.