KC Fire Department awarded grant for response tools

By Jake Lee Green
Kern Valley Sun

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Administration, has awarded the Kern County Fire Department with a $40,200 grant. This grant is for the purchase of new extrication tools that will be used to rescue the victims of car crashes. Also known as the ‘Jaws of Life’, this equipment is used by first responders to pry open wrecked vehicles where victims of crashes have been trapped inside.

As of this date, 100 separate incidents of extrication have been required in 2019. The Kern County Fire Department has responded 3,419 vehicle accidents of which, 1,317 would be considered a major impact.

“These new e’DRAULIC tools are lighter and easier to maneuver, allowing us to remove a trapped person more quickly, this directly improves the patient’s chance of survival.” Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said. “When every second counts, having reliable equipment becomes a crucial element for our firefighters to provide lifesaving care.”

There is a ‘golden hour’ given to victims of car wrecks where delays may impact the survivability of trauma. Treatment on scene is part of the process of enabling other responders such as ambulance drivers to properly do their jobs in getting patients to the hospital. Any technology that can help enable these responders in circumventing obstacles is imperative.