GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - When someone is trapped in a wrecked vehicle every moment can count, which is why it’s important to have the right equipment for the job.
And the Gladewater Fire Department recently updated some of their equipment which will speed up the extrication process and that could save lives.
Though still useful, the firefighter’s axe is only one of the tools in their lifesaving arsenal, and, according to Gladewater Fire Chief Cory Crowell, the Gladewater Fire Department has just come in possession of some state of the art devices.
“We got a set of spreaders, a set of cutters, and then our ram,” Crowell said.
They are replacement tools which are much more efficient than the set they were using that was manufactured four decades earlier.
“We did not have the capabilities to cut some of the metals that these newer vehicles are made out of such as boron,” Crowell said.
And it’s much lighter.
“Two guys would have to carry the pump motor to the accident scene,” Crowell stated.
One person can carry the new pump and a tool and hose.
“The tools are there a lot quicker at the accident scene,” Crowell stated.
So two people can move the tools rather than five, and hook up is faster.
“You had four couplings to hook up versus two couplings on the new tools,” Crowell explained.
And they can run two tools at once. All this makes extrication a lot quicker.
“What we need to be looking for in the fire services is getting those people into the ER; into an operating room within an hour,” Crowell revealed.
So the cutter will say remove a roof, the spreader will open a crushed door, and the ram will push a dashboard off someone’s legs. And if it’s dark, well these tools have LED lights which:
“Allows you to do it a lot more safely,” Crowell added.
They’ve had the equipment a week and everyone is trained and ready to put it into use, which fortunately hasn’t happened yet.
The new gear cost about 29,000 dollars. The city provided 19,000. Most of the rest was raised with a fun run held by Anytime Fitness.