GSARGear Review: Windstorm Whistle

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GSAR Gear Review: WindStorm Whistle

A whistle is a critical piece of equipment to have on a search. It is invaluable for sound sweeps, controlling large search lines, contact between teams, signaling in emergencies, and any number of other uses. In my opinion, the WindStorm is the best whistle on the market for use in SAR. In comparison to the standard wood/aluminum ball whistles, it is noticably louder,(103 dB vs the standard ~90)

The company’s website makes several claims, such as the Windstorm works when wet and even underwater. I can vouch for that, as I tested it in a lake and was surprised at how loud it actually was underwater. This is not only a good thing for rescue divers and swift-water rescue specialists, but also for ground search personnel as it has no loose ball in it to swell up and not work if it gets wet in the field.

The manufacturers also claim that their whistles are the loudest in the world. While many companies claim this, the loudness of the WindStorm whistle was derived in a sound proof chamber by a research team at the Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Missouri.  The decibel reading varied between 103 and 106 dB, well above any other commercial whistle to date.

The Windstorm is made out of high-impact, non-corroding thermoplastic and is really pretty solid. The seams are well-fit, and show no sign of cracking even after a years worth of heavy use.

Pros:
Extremely loud.
Works underwater and when wet.
Comes in high visibility colors.
Relatively cheap

Cons:
A little larger than your standard, but very much worth the bulk.

Over all I believe this is a great whistle, and I would highly recommend it to anyone going on a GSAR mission, training exercises, or just out hiking in the woods. This whistle is fairly cheap, under $7, and can be picked up almost anywhere outdoor supplies are sold, so there’s really no excuse to not upgrade.

-GSAR GEAR 2010

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