The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


January 21, 2014

East’s new ‘Jaws of Life’ better, stronger, faster




Another great aspect of East’s acquisition is its willingness to share the tools with neighboring departments.

“We have already used them at a couple of wreck scenes on (Alabama) 251, one of a neighboring department,” Brown said. “We went ahead and showed them the tools and used them.”

East still will maintains a set of hydraulic rescue tools as a backup, he said.

It is planning to sell its old set, and has already shown them to Clements and Oak Grove-Thach VFDs, he said.


East’s new rescue tool didn’t cost $6 million like the 1970s cyborg Steve Austin, but it was pretty pricey — about $50,000 for the tool and accessories, including a cutter, spreader, ram, backup batteries, and an AC conversion kit so that if all the batteries are spent, firefighters could crank up the generator to power it.

The department also replaced its old jaws, which cost about $30,000 to $40,000, Brown said.

In the coming weeks, a representative of Hurst, the company that manufactures the e-draulic, rather than hydraulic, tools will visit East VFD to give firefighters an advanced look at what the new tool can do, Brown said.

East members thought long and hard before deciding to buy the new rescue tools.

“With our limited budget, we have to make those decisions very carefully,” Brown said. “As a group, we really took a hard look at what we needed and we think this investment will really pay off.”



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