Hurst (www.jawsoflife.com), the inventor and manufacturer of the Jaws of Life will donate more than 115 rescue tools worth more than $130,000. Additionally, more than $51,500 in power units is being donated by Hurst’s Latin American master distributor in Mexico, Importada Fabregat, S.A.
An official ceremony is scheduled at 3:30 PM August 31, 2009 at Hurst Jaws of Life headquarters located at 711 North Post Road in Shelby, North Carolina. The tools will be on display and be officially presented to Joel Schwarz, executive director of Firefighters Crossing Borders of Gig Harbor, Washington. Firefighters Crossing Borders will take some of the sets to train with various departments throughout Mexico and the remainder of the tools will be placed in kits and distributed by Importada Fabregat to save Mexican fire departments money.
Hurst ran a trade-in program at the end of 2008 where fire departments in the United States and Canada could trade in legacy tools for cash with the purchase of a similar item. Aaron Guenther, Hurst’s vice president of sales and marketing stated, “The program was created specifically with Firefighters Crossing Borders in mind. Our trade-in program was a huge success and we are delighted to have the opportunity to help a few less developed countries, including Mexico.”
Hurst received more than the 115 tools donated but some needed to be scrapped for safety reasons and for spare parts. All of the rebate tools were brought into their Shelby facility, serviced and tested and then put into crates for shipment. Importada Fabregat has agreed to donate power units and logistics support for the American charity. “In Mexico we are in need of training resources which Firefighters Crossing Borders can provide. Every fire and rescue department here would love a Hurst system but the financing is not there. We hope that this will help. We are certain that this effort will improve Mexican rescue services, and we will not stop here.” stated Enrique Fabregat, director general.
“The coordination and logistics of getting these tools in place has certainly been a challenge,” said Bill Simmons, vice president and general manager for Hurst. “We are fortunate to have received such cooperation from our Mexican partners and the charity. Everyone here wants to make a difference and it is not always an easy thing to do. We owe a debt of gratitude to Enrique Fabregat and Firefighters Crossing Borders for their service. We are extremely proud to be partnered with the charity. We have every confidence that they are the right partner to make the most difference with these tools.”
Firefighters Crossing Borders is a United States based charity that focuses on training rescue professionals in Mexico on the proper techniques and use of the ‘Jaws of Life. “One of our main needs has been tools and money to ship them to Mexico,” says Joel Schwarz. “The need in Mexico and many Latin American countries is so great that it certainly is more than we can handle, we are just trying to do our part.”
Modern vehicles are more prevalent on the roads in North America, so newer rescue tools are needed to address the current car technologies like as reinforced steel structures and stronger steel. These vehicles are not widely used in Central America and most fire and rescue brigades currently use hand tools for auto extrication. The tools being donated will make a difference in the extrication times for these regions.
Firefighters Crossing Borders has expressed their need for cash, used hoses and power units specifically to help make complete sets with the tools provided. Parties interested in contributing to Firefighters Crossing Borders may do so on their web site at www.firefighterscrossingborders.org. Inquiries about Hurst sales in Mexico can be directed to Importada Fabregat, S.A at +52-(33)-3668-5440 or www.fabregat.com.