Tweed Firefighter Rod Gould taking a car apart with the jaws of life.
Tweed Firefighter Rod Gould taking a car apart with the jaws of life. Blainey Woodham

Tweed firefighters brush up on ‘jaws of life’ skills

IT'S a tool capable of exerting 20 tonne of pressure at 4736kg per square inch and it may have saved the life of someone you know.

Super spreaders, generically dubbed the jaws of life, are a critical rescue tool for firefighters and are used to peel, or spread, metal.

Mr Maher, and the rest of the men and women at the station, underwent rescue recertification training late this week, in a bid to brush up on their life saving skills.

"A bit over 40 years ago panel beating equipment was used instead, but it just wasn't as strong or effective," he said.

"This day and age, rather than when I first joined 36-years-ago, people get to hospital very quickly; the technology saves a lot of lives and I'd say, combined with random breath tests, has helped lower the road toll dramatically.

"We can get the trucks out of the station within a minute and get to the scene quickly. That response time is critical."

As well as the super spreaders, firies are equipped with shears, a hydraulic scissor system capable of exerting 12 tonnes of pressure, and an array of other tools to free people from almost any vehicle crash or domestic situation.

The term jaws of life is generically used to describe a range of hydraulic rescue equipment, including spreaders, shears and rams.


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