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Spotlight: Hurst Jaws of Life committed to powerful, portable rescue tools

StrongArm helps responders to properly arm themselves in tactical rescue or rapid intervention

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Company Name: Hurst Jaws of Life
Headquarters: Shelby, N.C.
Product: StrongArm

Hurst Jaws of Life‘s commitment to research and development, along with its dedication to quality engineering and manufacturing, has resulted in a line of products known for their safety, durability and performance.

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Because Hurst Jaws of Life rescue tools reduce the time to extricate a patient from a car crash, literally snatching them from the “jaws of death,” the tool and company earned the name Jaws of Life.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

The Hurst Jaws of Life rescue tool system was the first ever rescue tool system designed and the patent application was made on April 26, 1971. The tool was introduced to the market shortly thereafter. Originally manufactured by Hurst Performance Inc., in Warminster, Pa.A, the tool was developed for use in the race car industry. Hurst Performance also manufactured the famous Hurst Shifter, which was used extensively in race cars. The original tool was a two-part system consisting of a 32-inch hydraulic spreader powered by a two cycle gasoline power unit. When activated, the scissor-like spreaders opened and forced crushed metal away from trapped race car drivers.

3. What is your signature product and how does it work?

In 2010, Hurst Jaws of Life ntroduced the next generation in rescue tools – the eDRAULIC line of electric-hydraulic tools. The new, game-changing eDRAULIC line of rescue tools operate with an internal hydraulic pressure that generates the same force as the power unit driven tools. Utilizing electrical-over-hydraulic force eliminates the need for power units, hoses and hose reels. These tools are stronger, smaller, lighter and quicker than ever to the rescue.

4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the fire community?

Over 40 years ago, Hurst patented the first ever rescue tool system , and we haven’t stopped innovating since then. Our commitment to research and development, along with quality manufacturing, has resulted in a line of products known for their outstanding safety, durability and performance. Because of this commitment, Hurst Jaws of Life rescue systems have been instrumental in saving hundreds of thousands of lives throughout those 40-plus years.

5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?

Hurst Jaws of Life is leading the industry in keeping ahead of the challenging demands of high strength steel in automobiles.

When hydraulic tools first came to the fire service in 1972, vehicle construction was roughly 4 percent high strength steel. Nine years ago, it was 12 percent. Through the FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) program, the number has increased up to 33 percent. Since the technology is only getting more advanced, Hurst creates tools that meet or exceed these demands. With our continued focus on developing tools with greater power and speed, we’re more than ready for what’s next.

6. What makes your company unique?

Hurst is the only manufacturer of the Jaws of Life brand. There is no equal to saving lives. Hurst’s commitment to research and development and dedication to quality engineering and manufacturing has resulted in a line of innovative products known for outstanding safety, durability and performance. The Hurst Jaws of Life brand is the most trusted brand in the industry.

7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?

Power, speed and innovation. Hurst Jaws of Life keeps three critical goals in mind when designing new tools for our customers:

Power: Tools need more brute force in both cutting and spreading to deal with the unprecedented metal strength in today’s automobiles.

Speed: Rescues are increasingly requiring more relief cuts. Cycle speed and speed under load as well as fast deployment are critical.

Innovation: Automotive steel technology is advancing faster than fire department budgets can address. Designing tools that reach further into the future is vital.

8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?

Providing the finest, most reliable rescue products to first responders.

9. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?

Hurst will continue the development of the Jaws of Life product line in order to provide additional new, game-changing rescue tools to answer the unmet needs of the first responder community. Stay tuned.