January 12, 2012

City Backs Fire Department's Effort to Upgrade Jaws of Life

The price tag is stiff, an estimated $30,000, but the Scotland County Fire Department is planning to make a significant upgrade in its extrication equipment used to rescue trapped motorists from vehicular accidents.

The City of Memphis has agreed to foot 1/3 of the bill. The council approved a request for funding at the January 5th meeting.

The fire department hopes to replace the current Jaws of Life tool, which has been in service for the department for more than 20 years according to assistant fire chief Bryan Whitney.

He explained to the council that new models of the hydraulic powered metal cutters and spreaders offer nearly six times as much power today, compared to the current model.

Plans are to seek 1/3 of the funding for the upgrade from the rural fire department corporation, with the remaining 1/3 of funds to be raised directly by the volunteer fire department.

A number of plans are being considered for fundraisers, with a possible summer softball tournament being discussed as one possibility. Private contributions could also help meet the $10,000 match by the firemen.

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