BFD touts new rescue tools set

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Brookhaven Fire Department has a shiny new red toy and itdoes not have bright lights or make a loud noise when trucking downthe highway.

Those who find themselves in the unpleasant position of beingtrapped behind the steering wheel of their car will be thankful forBFD’s new hydraulic rescue tool.

“In a car wreck, if someone is trapped you want to get them outas fast as you can,” said BFD Chief Tony Weeks. “If you have toolsthat are lighter, quicker and faster, the better off you are.”

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The recently purchased TNT Rescue tools, which include a ram,cutter and spreader, will give firefighters a little extra boost inlife-saving situations.

“You want to save time in an emergency situation,” said Weeks.”Some the cars have stronger alloys and the new cutters aredesigned to break into some of that.”

The new equipment does not only give local heroes the strengthof 10 men, but can give them the speed of a locomotive.

In a demonstration, the 36 lbs. tool was able to dismantle aNissan Altima in roughly 10 minutes, although firefighters admittedit would take less time to help somebody in an emergencysituation.

“It takes two to three minutes when life is a factor,” saidshift Capt. Darrell Davis.

The new tools were purchased from Performance Rescue in Sumrallfor roughly $15,000. The cost was split between the city and thecounty.

The device is one of three sets in the fire department’spossession.

The tool purchased in 1992 will remain on hand as a backup andthe current set will stay at Station Three due to the high amountof rescue calls the station goes on.

The station also has an original set of Hurst Jaws of Life atStation Two. Weeks said the set weighs 80 lbs. and still runs, butis out of service.

Weeks added that the TNT Rescue tool is used mostly in caraccidents involving a rolled over vehicle or entrapment and willnot require any additional training.

“All the hydraulic tools are basically the same,” said Weeks.”(We) just need to get familiar with them.”

Weeks also said he is trying to get a few accessories for thenew device, which will make rescue missions even safer andfaster.

“If you have to do a job, it’s always good to have new tools,”said Weeks.