If you’re involved in a car crash in Williamsburg and pinned inside your vehicle, then Williamsburg Fire and Rescue should now be able to get you out a bit faster thanks to some new state-of-the-art equipment.
Wynn Fire Equipment delivered a new set of the Jaws of Life to Williamsburg firefighters Thursday evening and provided training on the new equipment.
“I am extremely excited. I am proud that we are being able to update and move on up,” said Williamsburg Fire Chief Larry Todd about getting the new equipment.
Todd saw that one of the biggest differences between the new Jaws of Life and the older ones is that the new ones are about four times more powerful.
The old Jaws of Life have about 80,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) compared to 300,000 PSI for the new set.
The Jaws of Life includes tools to cut through metal car posts so vehicle roofs can be removed, spreaders to pop open a jammed car door, and stabilization equipment that can also be used to help lift a vehicle that has partially flipped over on someone trapping them underneath.
“The other Jaws we had were hydraulic. They had to have a power supply,” Todd said. “These have battery packs. The new ones are a lot handier. If you had to go over an embankment, then you don’t have to worry about carrying the power supply or the hose down the embankment with these. You can just go down there and do your work.”
Todd said that the old Jaws of Life were about 15 years old, and that ideally it is recommended that those be replaced every 10 years if possible.
“We made do with what we could. We serviced them. It just got to where the new metal in these cars, it takes a little more umph to cut them,” he said.
Todd said that the old Jaws of Life will be placed on another fire truck and be used as a back-up for the new equipment.
“There is still a use for them,” he added.
The Williamsburg City Council approved the $43,575 purchase of the new Jaws of Life in March.