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Fire department adds new tools to assist with rescuing people in trapped vehicles

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 22:29:49-05

WACO, TX — The Waco Fire Department now has new tools that will make it faster to rescue people who are trapped in cars after crashes.

Now, four fire stations will have access to e-Draulic Jaws of Life, which cost the city $112,000.

“The vehicle could be on fire or something else. They could have major injuries that need to get out and they need to get tended to. Need to get them out as soon as we can,” Lt. Terry Rouse said.

Currently, firefighters at station five use Jaws of Life that need a generator to run.

“With these tools, we eliminated the generator. We eliminated the cords so we are able to take them off road, if we need to,” Cpt. Patrick Veselka said.

He added the new tools have more cutting strength than the old equipment.

"These newer tools are able to cut the stronger metals that are found in vehicles now to increase the safety of the traveling public,” Veselka said.

The change could allow them to rescue people faster and send people to the hospital quicker.

"Speed if they need to get out soon. If they are bleeding or anything,” Rouse said. “If they have to get out quickly and the new tools offer that."

Five fire stations will continue using the older equipment, bringing the number of stations with rescuing capabilities in the city to nine.