LABELLE- During one of the LaBelle Fire Department’s most recent training sessions, held on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, Tim’s Towing & Recovery, a locally owned business, allowed firefighters to use their facility and provided cars for a hands-on extrication training.
One of the newest tools to the district, the new Hurst 358 E-draulic waterproof Cutter-spreader Combo, was on scene for everyone to train with. Known commonly as “Jaws of Life,” it is battery powered and allows responders to be ready for just about any rescue situation. The new tool can spread open vehicle doors with 337,230 lbs of force, and cut through just about any wreckage. With it, rescuers are able to quickly extricate accident victims and get them urgent medical attention.
Invented by George Hurst, the first “Jaws of Life” were used in 1963, as a tool to free race car drivers from their vehicles after crashes. But, unlike the older tools, this newer version doesn’t need hoses or power units, and it will even work when submerged under water.
The West Hendry Fire District, including responders from LaBelle, Pioneer and Felda, participated in the important, life-saving training. The extrication training was led by Instructor Bob Media.