Firefighters test new ways to save lives
Yongsan firefighters practices opening a wrecked vehicle with the new hydraulic 'Jaws of Life' during an exercise Feb. 3 at Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

<strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - The Yongsan Fire Station trained on a new set of equipment for responding to vehicle accidents then tested their life-saving capabilities during an exercise Feb. 3.

The $650,000 acquisition comprised of advanced stabilizers for preventing crashed vehicles from moving and possibly causing more injuries, and a hydraulic rescue tool used for vehicle extrication nicknamed 'Jaws of Life.'

"It gives us the capability to quickly open the vehicle up and take the vehicle off from around the person, versus taking the person off the vehicle, which is sometimes way easier," said Harold Persons, assistant chief. "That greatly enhances our ability to save a person's life, without actually causing further injuries."

Rescuers can use the Jaws for just about any situation from vehicle accidents to airplane or helicopter crashes. Different modules or attachments, such as the cutter, the spreader or the ram are available and that gives the unit more flexibility.

Firefighters had familiarization training in the morning then ran an exercise using a disposable vehicle to get hands-on experience with the new tools.

The firefighters first practiced using the stabilizers on a vehicle lying on its side then simulated a rescue operation by cracking open the car using the new Jaws.

"We had old electronic tools for similar purposes, but the new hydraulic ones are far more powerful and easy to use," said Yongsan firefighter Sok Jung-hoon. "These will really help us in our operations."

Yongsan Fire Chief Alex Temporado said the key feature of the new equipment is versatility. "We can respond to wider range of situations," he said, "and improve effectiveness at saving lives."

<div align="center"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usag-yongsan/3249214843/" title="Yongsan Fire Station tests new ways to save lives by usag.yongsan, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3453/3249214843_bfd46e0a6d.jpg" width="500" height="332" alt="Yongsan Fire Station tests new ways to save lives" /></a></div>

Page last updated Fri February 13th, 2009 at 01:39