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Jaws of Life

From Academic Kids

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Jaws-life-spreader2.jpg
The Jaws Of Life, with spreader and cutter capability

The Jaws of Life, or Hurst Tool, is a line of tools originally developed by Hurst Performance and now under the registered trademark of Hale Products, Inc. The hydraulic spreader, originally invented in 1972 as an extrication tool for the race car industry is now essential equipment in rescue, firefighting, and public safety operations. Hale Products says, "Because the tool reduced the time to extricate a victim from a car crash, literally snatching them from the 'jaws of death', the tool earned the name Jaws of Life."

The Jaws of Life products include spreaders, cutters, rams, and other tools used for vehicle extrication. The term has come to be used generically for any brand of these products, not just those made by Hale Products.

Before, the rescuers used circular saws, which caused a lot of problems:

  • the cutting operation was slow;
  • the noise and the vibrations were very stressing for the casualty;
  • the sparks could start a fire with the possible gasoline leaks.

In comparison, the Jaws of Life are silent (hydraulic power), act fast, and can both cut and open, and even lift up if adapted to do so.

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