Battery-operated Jaws of Life proving its worth

CHARLTON/DACK - Battery-operated Hurst extrication tools recently purchased by the Englehart Fire Department have once again proven their worth.

Charlton-Dack Councillor Bill Laurila made the comment at the regular council meeting of the Municipality of Charlton and Dack November 7.

Laurila, who is also the Englehart fire chief, commented that a new battery-operated Jaws of Life was recently used to free a child whose leg had become stuck in a piece of playground equipment at a school in Englehart.

"It was amazingly fast and convenient," he said of the tool.

"We were quickly able to get his leg out."

The child was fine after the incident, he said.

Outgoing Charlton-Dack reeve Merrill Bond, who also has been a member of the Englehart Fire Department board, said the battery-operated tools recently purchased for the fire department "will save somebody's life someday." He said extrication time has been reduced from ten minutes to one minute because of the new tools.

Laurila admitted the tools are expensive "but so handy." The three pieces of equipment had a cost of $52,000, but with their ease of handling, it makes it possible for three firefighters to be working at the same time with three different pieces of extrication equipment to free people who are trapped. Along with being able to get people out of crushed vehicles, the equipment also makes it possible to more quickly break through a door of a burning home, he noted.

Prior to the purchase of the new equipment, the fire department had been using hydraulic equipment.

Darlene Wroe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker