Bronze Star and Purple Heart Recipient, Corporal Alan Babin Jr., recently received a brand new custom-built, specially adapted smarthome from the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), with home control and entertainment equipment donated by Nortek Security & Control (NSC), which included an ELAN® Entertainment & Control system, plus solutions from SpeakerCraft, Sunfire and Panamax.
At 22 years old, Babin enlisted in the U.S. Army and began serving his country as a medic with the elite 82nd Airborne Division. While rushing to aid a wounded soldier on March 31st, 2003, Babin was struck by enemy gunfire, and has since endured dozens of surgeries, the loss of several internal organs, and permanent limits on his mobility.
STAR OF TEXAS
According to Robert Ridenour, General Manager of J.J. Orion, installers of the high-tech control equipment in the Austin, Texas-area home, providing this American hero with increased independence and control is one of the greatest uses of smarthome control technology.
“Alan is a true American hero, a man who risked his life to protect the life of a fellow soldier, and he deserves to live as comfortably as possible,” Ridenour said. “J.J. Orion is proud to have played a role in providing him with increased self-sufficiency in his new home. Utilising the full capabilities of the ELAN® control system and peripherals like lighting, media and security, Alan can now control his home environment and take charge of more daily activities without assistance.”
Ridenour oversaw the integration of third party systems including room-to-room intercoms, Vantage lighting, QMotion motorised window shades, motorised doors for easy access, surveillance cameras, thermostats, security, Niles and Sunfire audio, and house-wide video distribution. With all of these systems easily controlled through the intuitive ELAN mobile app on Babin’s wheelchair-mounted iPad, management of his entire home is just a touch away.
The single-floor house is built to the specifications of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) with extra-wide doors and hallways, specialised bathroom equipment and a hoist system that helps him get out of bed and into the bathroom and shower without assistance. Alan resides in one wing of the house, with his parents on the opposite side and the common living and dining areas located in the middle. Babin even has his own exterior entrance to his bedroom with a motorised door. This level of self-sufficiency is a life-changing development for Babin and his parents, who have been living with him and supporting his recovery since his injury.
“The Gary Sinise Foundation, in partnership with Nortek Security & Control are providing an incredible service for wounded veterans across the country,” Ridenour added. “Babin can now control his lights, climate, audio and video, and even his doors from his iPad. Whether he’s in his wheelchair, in bed, on a couch or out away from the home, this integrated control system allows Babin and the entire family to monitor the home and make changes from anywhere. It’s truly a life-changing home.”
The home’s entertainment technology is integrated into the ELAN system, including multiroom audio with 12 Niles in-ceiling speakers, a home theatre featuring Sunfire on-wall speakers and subwoofers, and Panamax power protection to keep all the expensive electronic equipment running smoothly for years to come. The system includes ELAN handheld remotes for TVs, wall-mounted lighting keypads for convenience, and ELAN touch panels that provide full system access and always-on intercoms for room-to-room communication.
VISION FOR VETS
According to Judith Otter, Executive Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation, this latest home dedication continues the Foundation’s mission to better the lives of wounded veterans throughout the U.S.
“There are no words to describe the feeling we all get when a true American hero moves into a new specially adapted smarthome built with donations of time, money and equipment from partners all over the country,” Otter said. “We’re proud to support our nation’s most honourable citizens and provide any added comforts and capabilities that we can to improve their daily lives and offer increased self-reliance and mobility.”