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Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Fire Department invests for life

  • The traditional "Jaws of Life" has been an emergency crew staple since the 1970s; the Redwood Falls Fire Department just bought the next step up.
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  • In the 1960s a new piece of equipment was being used at car races to help drivers get out of their cars when they had a crash.
    By 1971 that piece of equipment known as the jaws of life was being used by emergency personnel to help people who were in crashes of their own.
    Jaws of life equipment is not new to the Redwood Falls Fire Department, but recently the department was able to upgrade that life rescuing tool with a brand new Genesis rescue tool that provides the department with an even better piece of equipment.
    According to Matt Grave, Redwood Falls Fire Department chief, the $20,000 piece of equipment approved by the city council for purchase was part of his budget for 2013, and he said the new tool takes the jaws of life technology to the next level. That is necessary as vehicles are also advancing.
    Grave said the old jaws of life could not cut through some of the high strength steel in vehicles, and the new equipment has the capability of doing that.
    He also said the stabilizers that come with the equipment create a safer setting than the wood blocks the department had to use in the past. The new equipment allows for faster response time, which Grave said is crucial.
    All department members are being trained to use the new equipment.

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