Back in March, I allocated a grant to the San Diego Fire Foundation. The funds went towards purchasing new battery-powered extrication equipment for the Escondido Fire Department. Last week, I got to see the new devices in action and even got to try them out!
These tools are commonly used during traffic accidents when a person is trapped inside their car. A fast extrication is essential. Extrication tools free trapped persons by either cutting, spreading, or pinching metal parts of the vehicle to free the occupant.
For decades the fire department has used hydraulic extrication tools with great success. However, hydraulic extrication tools require setting up a gas-powered hydraulic pump, connecting hoses, and having gasoline available for the pump. The hydraulic pumps take time to set up, are extremely loud, and produce exhaust fumes. The new battery-powered extrication tools require virtually no setup time, are significantly quieter than hydraulic tools, and produce no exhaust. Without the need for a heavy gas-powered hydraulic pump, the battery-powered tools are also lighter and can be easily carried down a hill to a vehicle that has left the road over an embankment.
These new battery-powered extrication tools significantly reduce the time to freeing an injured patient and getting them to life-saving medical care sooner. Getting an injured patient life-saving medical treatment sooner may mean the difference between life and death. I’m glad to support this effort and appreciate all the work the Escondido Fire Department does for our region!
San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond