On February 24, 2019, a terrible crash occurred on U.S. 41. Two vehicles collided injuring four people. As a result, they had to extract two people from their cars. According to a Pasco County Fire and Rescue official at the scene, both victims were trapped in their cars for a time until the correct equipment and personnel arrived.
Police temporarily closed U.S. 41 during the rescue but has since reopened. All four are at a local hospital. Authorities had not filed charges against either driver at the time of the report.
Jaws of Life and Injuries
Emergency personnel will often use the Jaws of Life. A trademarked name for the first one developed. Another tool is the hydraulic rescue tool. They allow EMS workers to pry, cut and spread parts of a vehicle to allow rescuers to free a trapped person by the crash. Since its invention in 1961, it has saved countless lives and made injuries less severe.
The tools use liquid hydraulics to provide power to the tool which usually has two “jaws” that can be brought together or separated with great force. First responders used them to cut through steel, sheet metal and other composites in automobiles. The jaws can also be used to spread things apart so that rescuers can get at the victim to treat them and then free them from the car.
The EMS personnel will assess the situation of a trapped person. Then if needed they will have the Jaws of Life brought to the crash scene. Typically, each responding unit has a person in charge, based on rank or seniority, and this person will make the call to use the tool. In most cases, a responding EMS unit will have at least one person trained to use the device.
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