AFD acquires new Jaws of Life tools

Published 12:58 pm Sunday, January 30, 2022

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Department is certified to use new extrication tools

Atmore Fire Department personnel huddled together on a cold Jan. 28 morning and received extrication training on their newest Jaws of Life tools at David’s Paint and Body.

The AFD recently acquired two sets of battery-operated Holmatro extrication tools, including a cutter, ram and spreader, along with stabilizing jacks.

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The recent training session was the tail end of a two-day extrication class through the Alabama State Fire College. As of Jan. 28, the AFD is now certified to use each of its new tools.

Chief Ronald Peebles said every piece of equipment is battery operated, and added that they provide an ample amount of time to get the job done quickly.

Peebles said he’s confident the new Jaws of Life tools will get the firefighters through some of the extrication they need.

Peebles said the city of Atmore purchased the tools, and added a spare battery for each piece of equipment for a total of 12 batteries.

Peebles said at any time firefighters need a charged battery, the tool will stay right in place until they make the change.

Peebles said the advantages of the new Jaws of Life tools are numerous, adding that these new tools don’t need hydraulic pump lines run to them.

“What we have now is that we just use whichever one we need,” he said. “We don’t have to use different hoses.”

The chief added that these new tools save time as well. Each tool is some 20 pounds lighter than the old ones, he added.

“And even more durable,” Peebles said.

When asked why the AFD needed new Jaws of Life tools, Peebles said convenience was a big part of the deal.

“It’s just easier to work with,” he said. “It’s faster to work with. It’s less cumbersome. Our old set was around 15 years old, and there’s nothing wrong with them.

“We got all of the tools, but we don’t have mounting brackets yet to mount them in our trucks,” he said. “We have them sitting in there, and we’ll use them tonight. We have had them two weeks, and didn’t want to use them until our guys went through the class.”

Peebles added that David’s Paint and Body has been crucial in the department’s extrication training. He said Owner David Gibbs has been nothing, but supportive to the department’s needs.