Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Steel claws capable for shearing steel or pulling it apart might sound like the weapons of a killer robot, but they are lifesaving tools that arrived Tuesday at the Bluefield Fire Department.
Two spreaders, two cutters, a hydraulic ram, two pumps for powering the equipment, and two stabilization struts were delivered, said Capt. Glenn Sutphin. Outside financial aid helped the department buy equipment it otherwise could not have afforded.
“This was through an Assistance to Firefighters Grant,” Sutphin said. “We were able to purchase Hurst extrication equipment.”
The grant covered the $37,000 purchase price. Firefighters started inspecting the equipment Tuesday to prepare for training sessions coming this weekend. Fire Chief Jeff Warden said the department’s members would be cutting junked cars while learning to handle the rescue gear.
Before the Bluefield Fire Department bought the new cutters and spreaders, firefighters had few tools to use when arriving at a crash scene, Sutphin said.
“We had several instances where we needed it, and didn’t have it,” Capt. Stan McKenzie added.
Once training is complete, the equipment will be placed in two fire engines, Chief Warden stated.
“One (engine) will be at the Bluefield station, and the other will be at our substation on Cumberland Road,” he said. “We will be able to be anywhere in the city with this equipment in five minutes.”
The gear was purchased from Interstate Rescue in Winchester, Va.