DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)-The Duncan fire department will soon have some new rescue equipment that will help them get to people who are trapped in the wreckage of a car crash.
They have three sets of "Jaws of Life" gear now, with one assigned to each of the city's three stations, but they're old, and worn out to the point where they only use one for the majority of their calls. Firefighters are also limited in how they can use the equipment, because it has to be connected to a rescue truck for its power supply. The new gear is powered by a battery. Altogether, it'll cost about 100-thousand dollars, with the money coming from a sales tax fund approved by voters three years ago.
Duncan Fire Chief Dayton Burnside said the new equipment has several advantages. It has better accessibility and can help people faster. The new gear is lighter, and doesn't have to be connected to a truck for power, it makes it a lot simpler to maneuver into tight spots, and get victims to safety.
Steve Brosh has been driving the fire rescue truck for the Duncan Fire Department for 2 years. The city has 3 Jaws of life, but his is the strongest and most used. His job is to pop open doors, cut roofs, and do whatever it takes to safely get people out of the vehicle. He has already rescued over 30 people this year and says the old equipment they have is tough to use.
"These tools are older so they require us to prime the pump, they are heavier and they are slower moving”, said Brosh.
"First off we have to start the pump, then we have to attach the hoses to which ever tool we are going to be using, and then carry the tool to the vehicle and use it in the matter that we need to and if we need to use a different tool we have to hook up different hoses”, said Brosh.
Fire Chief Dayton Burnside says the new equipment they receive will be much more reliable. It will replace items like a spreader, that weighs 52 pounds. The new equipment will be half the weight. They will be doing their job in fire gear that weighs 25 pounds."
"It will allow us to respond simultaneously to multiple incidents as well as be more efficient and will continue to provide superior level of care for fire and rescue operations that our citizens need”, said Burnside.
"They don't confine you to a hose and pump and allow the fireman to be more maneuverable and gain into entire access of areas”, said Burnside.
Burnside said the new equipment will mainly be used to help rescue people in car accidents but they also use it for other emergencies as well.
"We use them for confined spaces, building collapse, and forcible injuries”, said Burnside.
Brosh says the new equipment will make their jobs a whole lot easier.
"This new equipment will be able to respond quicker, faster, and get the patient out safely, where they can get treated at the hospital”, said Brosh.
The new equipment has already been ordered and should arrive at the station in 3 months.
Their next project will be getting their brush trucks replaced. They currently have 2 that are ten years old, and another that's 22 years old. Burnside hopes to have those approved by the council and replaced sometime next year. The cost of each brush truck is around 125 thousand dollars.