Car Wreck Lawyers in Georgia Talk About Using The Jaws Of Life
On Tuesday, July 18, 2017, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, firefighters and other first responders freed a woman from the wreckage of her vehicle after a collision with a concrete mixer styled truck. The accident happened on I-75 Northbound in Cobb County. The woman suffered injuries in the crash. Traffic on I-75 was stopped for over an hour. Fortunately, first responders had the equipment and training to extricate the woman from her vehicle and render aid.
There are scant few details available about the accident at this time. The initial reports reveal that the woman was driving her Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck northerly on I-75 when she passed a construction zone. The cement mixer exited the construction site and merged into the left lane, hitting the Silverado. The driver of the cement mixer failed to yield to oncoming traffic, and, at this time, appears to be responsible for the crash.
The collision between the Silverado and cement mixer crushed the pickup truck. The woman driving the pickup truck could not free herself. Rather, first responders resorted to using extrication tools, frequently known as the jaws of life, free her from the wreckage and treat her injuries. The extent to which she was injured in the crash is unknown as of this writing.
The Hurst Company trademarked the "Jaws of Life" phrase. In reality, the "Jaws of Life" refers to a series of tools used by firefighters to free a person from wrecks. These indispensable methods save valuable time when every precious second is needed to save a life. Typically, firefighters receive training on how to use the Jaws of Life, and they keep them on their trucks. These tools consist of arms with sharpened edges that cut and spread, as well as rams. Most of the time, they are of a hydraulic nature and do not rely on human strength to manipulate the machinery.
Hydraulic tools are fairly simple machines. They rely on the power supplied by a specialized fluid pumped into the machine that forces the machine open or closed, depending on the device being used at the time. A motor forces the fluid into the machine at an incredibly high pressure, which forces the vehicle apart, or cuts through the vehicle's metal.
Whether first responders use any given tool depends upon the situation facing them upon their arrival at the crash scene. If firefighters need to cut the roof off of the car to free the occupants, they will normally use the cutters to sever the "A" pillars, which are the posts holding in the windshield on one side and the doors on the other. The firefighters can pull the car roof back, like a tin can, once they have cut the pillars.
Unfortunately, vehicle occupants, often the driver and/or front seat passenger, can become pinned within the car in the event of a wreck. However, firefighters and other first responders typically use the spreaders when they need to free pinned accident victims. Thankfully, the spreader can pry the steering wheel or dashboard. In fact, the ram can also be used for this purpose, depending on the circumstances. The spreaders are also particularly useful at prying opened doors that are so mangled they cannot be opened without the Jaws of Life. Regardless, each component of the Jaws of Life is important and the process saves many lives.
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