The North Bend Eagle


NBVFD gets new Jaws of Life

by Nathan Arneal
Published 10/24/12

The North Bend Volunteer Fire Department recently acquired a few new tools in its mission to save lives.

Three new Jaws of Life tools will help rescue workers extract victims from wrecked cars by cutting through or bending the metal of the car.

Jaws of LifeDon Kruger, left, and Waylon Fischer show off NBVFD's new Jaws of Life.

The new tools, which replace older models used by the fire department, will be easier to use.

The old tools were powered by hydraulics and required a pump and hoses running to the Jaws of Life. They also required two people to operate, with one person manning the pump and one running the cutter or spreader.

The new tools, which include a cutter, a spreader and a combination tool, are battery operated. This means that each tool can be run by one person and there are no hoses trailing behind the tool. Because the pump and hoses have been eliminated, set up time has been greatly reduced, saving valuable minutes when lives are in danger.

“(The old tools) took quite a bit longer,” fire fighter Don Kruger said. “With these things you just take them out, turn them on and they’re ready to go. You’re looking at a considerable time saver.”

The new tools are much more powerful, as well. The cutter has the ability to cut through the steering column of a vehicle, something the old Jaws of Life couldn’t do.

North Bend fire fighters tested the new tools last Monday during drills at Cerny’s salvage yard where they practiced cutting apart old vehicles.

<<Back to the front page