Ask any Police, Fire or Emergency Services member who has attended a motor vehicle crash what piece of emergency equipment they relied on most and the answer would be the ‘Jaws of Life’
These hydraulic kits have earned the name, enabling first responders to quickly and safely get access to the injured or trapped parties.
The ‘Jaws of Life’ are used often in both emergency situations and in the constant training of staff and volunteers. Over time they can become clogged with fine glass, metal and plastic debris getting into areas not accessible by normal cleaning.
Staff from the Northern Territory Emergency Services recently attended a workshop conducted by PT Hydraulics, supplier of the Service’s Lukas hydraulic rescue equipment.
The purpose of the workshop was to familiarise the NTES staff with servicing and shop maintenance of the equipment.
Senior Education and Development Officer with the NTES, Mark Cunnington, said that prior to this the units were sent to Darwin for this vital preventative maintenance.
“We would have to take one of our spare units out to the location, replace it with the unit requiring maintenance and then repeat the process once servicing had been completed.
“Having our members able to carry out this maintenance on site will save the organisation the best part of $1,000 per kit, and we have 20 sets around the NT.”
But Mark Cunnington says it is not just the money factor that has benefited the organisation.
“These kits are composed of a motor, cutter, spreader and a ram. Collectively they are the Jaws of Life. By having our members break-down, service, test and reassemble the units they have gained new knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the equipment.
“This in turn has resulted in the users developing better handling techniques to avoid damage to the equipment in the future.”
PT Hydraulics reps Garry Muldoon and Steve Pearce took the NTES team through stripping down tools, cleaning, greasing, honing cutter blades, pump servicing and pressure testing and adjustment.
The NTES team also had some refresher training on rescue techniques and got to trial Lukas’s new eDraulic battery powered rescue tools.