AFD trains with new "Jaws of Life" - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

AFD trains with new "Jaws of Life"

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DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GA -

Albany Firefighters began training with the department's new jaws of life Tuesday afternoon.

The new equipment is battery-powered and much lighter.

Experts say it can help extricate a person from a wrecked car much quicker. That means a better chance of saving lives.

Fire Department is currently using are 20 years old. These new devices are much improved technology, made to work on today's cars, which have changed a lot in the last two decades.

These new jaws of life are called "e-draulics." The biggest change, they are battery powered. The old jaws of life used in Albany had a gasoline generator, pumping power through hoses that confined where they could be used.

The new jaws of life are lighter, more powerful, and much more maneuverable. That means the firefighter can bend a caved in roof, or rip off a door in much less time, to get a crash victim out.

 Municipal Emergency Services representative Robert Joyner said "The golden hour. We have basically from the time the accident started to we get the person in the trauma surgeon's hands. An hour is kind of the rule of time. So the faster we can get the person out of the vehicle the better they are. The chances of their surviving the crash."

Because they are battery powered, they are much quieter. Firefighters say that makes it easier for them to work together and easier on the crash victim.

Assistant Chief Rubin Jordan said "With the victim in the car, they are hearing all this noise. It needs to be as quiet as possible to keep them stabilized and make sure they know that it is safe for them."

These new jaws of life exert 25,000 pounds of force, which is needed because of new car technology.

 Joyner said "This is you older style technology, with a lot of thinner pieces of metal and stuff. Not as many pieces stacked in there. What the auto industry has done, has changed to this. They are putting in these gun barrel stocks in here. Stacking larger pieces of metal, so it takes about three times the amount of cutting force to cut this than it would take to cut this off a 1990 car."

The Albany Fire Department paid $345,000 for 12 sets of jaws of life and all the gear that goes with them. Firefighters will be training with them for the next 9 days.

Because of the battery power, these new tools can be used for more than car extraction. Firefighters can use the cutters to power through burglar bars on homes, and even cut through walls. Firefighters and Law enforcement will be able to use the ram to pop open a door in just seconds.

All firefighters will be trained with the new jaws of life which then should be put into service on all Albany Fire trucks next week.

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