After 50 years in business, HURST reflects on company highlights


During the past 40 years the Hurst Jaws of Life® product line has grown significantly. New spreaders, cutters, rams, and very lightweight tools have been added to the world-renowned Hurst product line. 

1960s:   Before HURST Jaws of Life®, there was Hurst Performance, Inc. Specializing in transmission shifters and other performance enhancing parts, these products were wildly popular among auto racers and car enthusiasts.

1965:    George Hurst and Bill Campbell celebrate the building that would ultimately be the original headquarters of HURST Jaws of Life in Warrington, PA

1971:    Creates an early prototype of the HURST Power Tool (aka Jaws of Life) at headquarters in Warrington, PA; tool has its first public introduction at the SEMA trade show in California. In December, HURST sells its first tool to the Parkland Fire Company in Parkland, PA

1972:    First production of Jaw: Model JL-32

1974:    Since 1974, thousands of firefighters and rescue workers have been awarded the prestigious Green Cross Award

1976:    Next generation spreader: Model JL-32A

1977:    First production cutter: Model JL-150

1978:    First ram: JL-60

1979:    First combination tool: Omni II

1980s:   Continues to increase its line of rescue equipment, developing new tools like the Mini Ram

1984:    Hale Products, Inc., makers of fire pump equipment, purchases HURST and expands into the rescue tool market; production is relocated to Shelby, NC

1990s:   Introduces lighter, faster tools and new technologies like lifting airbags

1992:    Launches a complete line of specialty tools called Mini-Lites, used for extrication and special operations such as forcible entry

1994:    Hale is acquired by IDEX Corporation in Illinois; IDEX is a diversified global company servicing markets in fluid handling, dispensing and industrial machinery

1995:    IDEX acquires LUKAS, inventor of the first cutter (1972) for rescue use; the #1 rescue tool in Europe joins forces with the #1 rescue tool in North America

2000s:   Continues tool innovation with the introduction of high pressure 10,000 PSI and advanced 5,000 PSI tools, such as the MOC Series, Defender, Spreader and “hot swappable” streamline coupling

2004:    Hale purchases Manfred Vetter GmbH and Company, the inventor of the lifting bag

2006:    Airshore International joines the HURST team, adding shoring and stabilization to the portfolio

2010:    Launches the eDRAULIC® line, the world’s first line of battery-powered tools allowing for faster, easier rescues

2014:    Releases eDRAULIC 2.0 with everything you want in a tool: power, speed, less weight and battery operated freedom

2015:    Launches the industry’s first battery-powered telescopic rescue ram as part of its eDRAULIC 2.0 line. Hurst fills critical need with the introduction of StrongArm®, a powerful, portable tool able to cut, lift and spread; replaces a number of single purpose hand tools

2016:    Launches the single most powerful battery combination tool in the industry as part of its eDRAULIC 2.0 line

About Hurst Jaws of Life
Hurst is the only manufacturer of the Jaws of Life® brand. There is no equal to saving lives. The company’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. Hurst Jaws of Life, Inc., is a unit of IDEX Corporation, an applied solutions company. For more information about Hurst Jaws of Life, please visit www.jawsoflife.com.

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