MASON — Members of the Mason Volunteer Fire Department recently became better equipped to rescue entrapped motorists with the addition of nearly $38,000 in new tools.
The department received a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters program to purchase battery-powered extrication equipment. Included in the package are a spreader, cutter, battering ram, combi tool and reciprocating saw kit, plus batteries, chargers, and spreader chains.
The equipment will replace the hydraulic tools purchased in 2000, according to Fire Chief Howard Wood. The advantage of the battery-powered equipment is that it is not limited by the length of a hose. Wood said the hydraulic equipment is tethered to the truck, and the department has 200 feet of hose. The new items can be carried anywhere.
Firefighter Austin Ohlinger said each battery will last about an hour, but they are very easy to change. The equipment package came with a total of 18 interchangeable batteries and nine quick chargers. He added since the tools are 20 years newer than the present ones the department owns, they are better able to cut through the stronger metals of today’s vehicles.
The department is the first in the county to have the battery-powered tools, Wood said. A representative from the company where the equipment was purchased, Red Hot Fire Equipment, will be meeting with the firefighters soon to show what the tools are able to do. The firefighters will practice on a junk vehicle, according to Deputy Chief Travis Nance.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.