Brac fire equipment upgraded

Fire fighters in Cayman Brac recently received upgraded vehicle rescue equipment, putting them in a better position to save the lives of accident victims.

Cutting through the car

Cutting through the car in emergency situations is now easier with upgraded Halmatro rescue tools. Photo: Submitted

Assisted by the regional sales manager for Halmatro Rescue Equipment in Maryland, US, Mike Toeneboehn, the firefighters were given two full days of practical and theoretical, training. Their upgraded tools, such as the ‘Jaws Of Life’ cutters, spreaders and rams, have twice the pressure, and also are more compact and lighter than before.

‘We recognise that it is important to regularly update equipment, and to train firefighters in how to properly use the new tools,’ Chief Fire Officer Roy Grant said in a press release. ‘Although the vehicle rescue equipment on the Brac was not outdated, there was a need to provide more powerful equipment that would further benefit residents in emergencies.’

The five-inch cutter, which is used to free victims from vehicles involved in accidents, weighs 28 lbs. and has 66,000 lbs. of cutting force at the tip opening. The 27-inch spreader, which is used to open doors and separate other parts of the vehicle, weighs 42 lbs.; and the combination tool, which is a cutter and spreader in one, has a spreading force of 16,000 lbs.

The two new rams have 30,000 lbs. each of pushing force, and is used to lift dashboards, in order to release pressure on victims.

In addition to demonstrating how the tools operate, Mr. Toeneboehn made a presentation on new technologies that subsequently change vehicle rescue tools and methods. He educated the firefighters on new car construction; the hazards of upgraded restraints for rescuers; new body materials; fuel considerations; and appropriate cutting techniques.

The afternoon sessions took place on the Bluff, where firefighters practiced cutting up derelict cars with the new tools. ‘They successfully demonstrated the importance of doing a good job in cutting the car from around the victim, in comparison to older methods of cutting the victims from the car,’ commented Mr Grant.

‘Thanks to Mr Toeneboehn and Halmatro Rescue Equipment, I am confident that these fire fighters will respond more efficiently in emergencies.’

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