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 Zephinie Escape Chute
 Pioneer of vertical mass evacuation technologies

Historic archives

Use for Fun and Fund Rising

Over 1,000,000 times tested only in Europe during the 80's!

An extraordinary national popularity  


since 1975 the ZEC has been many times over the years, used for promotional and didactic activities of public interest in Europe.
Charity fund rising:
The French Red Cross and Unisef have been first to use the ZEC for charity Fund Rising in Paris in 1975. Politic fund rising: In 1975 the French Communist Party bough, the first installation exclusively for fund raising during "la Fête de L'huma" every year for over a decade.
Approximately, US$ 30,000.00 per EVZ unit were collected (US$3.00 the ride) the chute was replaced after 10,000 rides for safety measures. Fun, Animation and Public Concern Corporate Image advertising:
Associations, Insurance Companies, beach's games, international fair animation, were asking for the ZEC as a popular promotional entertainment, including a director of Six Flags came to Paris in 1974 to ask Zephinie for the EVZ exclusivity for entertainment park in the USA.
Zephinie wrongly thought that use could be negative about the image of the ZEC.
The idea was to postpone that use for after the EVZ been approved by French Government regulations.


Paris International Fair (1976)
See doc. 1975 Paris Fair

The 5 stories tower used for the public demonstration of the EVZ in 1974 and 1975
The equipment was landed to EVZ by a sponsor.

 UTC-Otis 10ft Otis Evacuation Chute at the Readapt'81 Strasbourg show (March 19-23, 1981) .

Exposition dedicated at technologies to help Handicapped persons.
This document obviously shows that UTC-Otis 20 years ago was convinced that the Zephinie technology could be extremely helpful for the problem of evacuation of disabled people in Europe. The 19 millions of Americans Handicapped problem of evacuation was evidently not interesting UTC-Otis in USA.

Note: The city of Strasbourg is the site of European Parliament.


Classic UTC-Otis France 2 multiple entry chute demonstration set Doc. Newspaper clip Demonstration at Hison
A small city of North of France circa 1978






Over 1,000,000 uses in the 80's!

Between the October 24,1973 and December 5. 1974 the very first tests of EVZ summed up 40,270!

All the tests were organized and supervised by the 6 members of the EVZ company in 6 countries.

During 1975-76 the first equipments were disseminated to several ministries of France for testing and to the UTC-Otis organization in 20 cities.
International fair Paris, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Lille, Strasbourg, The Red Cross, le Salon de la Jeunesse, la Fête de l'huma, and similar operations in Spain will every year increase the amount of public uses of the EVZ to over 100,000 per annum between France, Spain and Belgium.
To make a ride in EVZ became the kids' major attraction with the Fire ladder to participate to the annual Fire Department's "Open Door" PR operation in many cities.

During the 80's Approximately 5000 units were installed and used one time per years for drills. A building installation can include between 1 up to 25 ZEC.
The director of the UTC-Otis chute department of Paris told Zephinie that the French Ministry of Interior has estimated the number of uses at 1,000,000 in 1987 in France.
The illegal marketing of the ZEC technology started in Asia stated in 1982 and actually one company claim having installed 3000 ZEC technology escape chutes. Hundreds of thousands uses has to be added from this source.
Zephinie doesn't get money from the ZEC business since 1988. That makes the little difference between regular and illegal use of Zephinie's technology worldwide .
The extraordinary national popularity of the ZEC in France during the 70’s.
Those historical information’s are added for the American's press information that actually had a hard time to believe the story of the Zephinie Escape chute is a reality. All reported facts can be formally testified by hundred of witnesses and press report archives in France.
The product itself involves a set of psychological characteristic that makes it universally appreciated by the population, including the sensation to use it.

The International fair of Paris (1974)

this even is an example of advertising sponsored operation and popular response to the ZEC:
Zephinie convinced the fair director to sponsor the shows giving 10,000 sq/ft of space near the entrance. The demo’s five stories structure, the mobile home, and the seven service men of the French Navy firefighters were also sponsoring participation of a value of $50,000 at the time.
During the rush hour, the multitude public watching over the demos was interfering with the flow of passage to the point that the next years the ZEC the Demo operation will be located at the far end of the park near the Freeway.
(The freeway traffic will be slowing down, and it was necessary to hide the view of the demos)
15,000 of the 800,000 visitors tested an evacuation system having officially forbidden to be tested by the firefighters by the General of the French firefighters during 1974!

A 12 years old kid has been quoted by the Navy men supervising the demonstrations for having used the EVZ 52 times in one day. The champion having climbed 260 stories and descending a total 6500 yard in the EVZ.
A blind person tested the EVZ carrying h dog in his harms.
A 80 years old lady wanted a ride to be the older lady in the new vertical Evacuation system. The EVZ teams were too busy to think to register the many records performed by the EVZ with Guinness.

The Minister of Sport came especially to make a televised testing of the EVZ, so did the next day another politician!

The EVZ demos have been performed in all major cities of France, Spain, Belgium and Holland.

Politicians having a love affair with the Television everywhere, Zephinie organized a standard procedure to interact the presence of local politicians testing the EVZ in TV cameras presence.  

The Vertical evacuation technology invented by Zephinie has been hundred of time reported by TV and in over a thousand times since 1973.

In a 3 years period la “Chaussette
d’évacuation ”  became the most popular “French Invention” of the 70’s.

The TV, radio and press reports of all the international and national fair demonstration will spread the invention adding to the direct observation of the ZEC in rescues drills action by millions of fair visitors every year.

To see working the “Chaussette” that have seem “in the TV” as it is said in popular abused French language,  will give an extraordinary persistent memorization of the product for years to millions.
 ZEC remains a powerful and positive image vector the sponsor.
The ZEC remains a unique product vector of positive image association with a great potential in the USA as so far exploited.  (
Please contact for more information in this subject)    

Undoubtedly the EVZ development operation has been most successful and the first internationally "sponsored" operation of this kind in France during the 70’s.

 In 1977 a movie titled “The Chaussette en Folie” with the famous French actor Jean Richard  in the role of the Inventor of the Chaussette was released.  
Zephinie for very personal reason has not participated.

The  world famous Jean Bejart's  ballet asked Zephinie to adapt a EVZ to be used in a choreography.

 The French Government produced a movie for international promotion of French product using the “Chaussette EVZ” an exemplar of the French creativeness. (Commerce Exterior)

Other production for the French Universities will be run and many universities and Zephinie was asked to share his unusual experience of Inventor and promoter.

The Vertical evacuation course was officially added to curriculum of firefighter engineer course in 1977.  

 The nickname “Chaussette”

The word “Chaussette” was first used to answer to question “how does works the EVZ”.  The answer was: You feel like entering your harm into a long sock! “Chaussette” in French. The press people will nickname the EVZ la “Chaussette”. Later UTC-Otis tried to change this popular nickname.
The “la Chaussette Zephinie” became la “ La Chaussette d’Otis”  and official publication mention the word “Chaussette” however the French normal word is “

 The Word “Manche and Chaussette d’évacuation” has been added since to the French Vocabulary.  

 The EVZ story include many anecdotes that will be eventually published soon in a book.

A General's stupid public declaration

The French TV canal2  archive keep the stupid public declaration of the General : That obviously works but it doesn’t exit for me! (Oct. 24-1973)
A funny illustration of the EVZ-ZEC odyssey will remains the picture of General Ferauge proudly presenting the UTC-Otis vertical Evacuation system to the president of the French


Republic Giscard d’Estaing  in 1978.

Ferauge did is best to sunk the development of the Invention of the vertical escape chute during 26 months. The Original EVZ company financially exhausted for that reason will be obliged to transfer UTC-Ascenter Otis the license of the ZEC in December 1975. 

Incidentally it was said that general Férauge was familiar with the New York Fire authorities for years as was also the case of Colonel Riou.       

Between the October 24,1973 and  December 5. 1974  the very first tests of EVZ summed up 40,270!

Archive document of EVZ 1975

Please Click here to get a larger picture



©  Copyright 1973, 2005 and following by Gerard J. Zephinie .