ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – Friday afternoon, Escanaba Public Safety officers trained with new life-saving equipment.
The department purchased new extrication equipment, thanks to a $15,000 grant from AAA and a $24,000 contribution from a private donor.
Public Safety Captain Darren Smith says while the new battery-operated tools are a bit heavier, they open and close much faster than the old equipment, which had been in operation since 2000. The old equipment was also connected to a hydraulic hose and required three officers to get it from the truck to a vehicle in need of help. He says the new equipment makes the process much more streamlined.
“Every tool that you wanted to use, you’d have to hook up to a line,” Captain Smith said of the old equipment. “The lines were in the way. Very difficult. If you have a patient in the vehicle, time is crucial. The new equipment is ready to go, and one officer can utilize them efficiently. We can get to the victim a lot quicker than the old system that we had.”
Escanaba Public Safety officers train on the extrication equipment for a month before using it at a real scene. Gene’s Towing donates vehicles to the department, giving officers hands-on experience.
Captain Smith says the equipment will be used to help citizens throughout all of Delta County.
“If we get a personal injury accident that may include entrapment, we have an automatic mutual aid and response,” he said. “If it’s in any township, even if that department has extrication equipment, we still respond. That way, if there are multiple vehicles or multiple victims, we have more than one set of extrication equipment.”
Click here for information on the Escanaba Department of Public Safety’s recent purchase of body cams.