When you hear the familiar term, “Jaws of Life”, you probably think of a single life – saving device that is used by the rescue teams to free accident victims. The “Jaws of Life” is actually a brand name of rescue tools that are trademarked by the Hurst Jaws of Life company. These tools include the ram, cutters, and spreaders.
These tools are used most commonly by emergency rescue teams to remove accident victims that are trapped in their vehicles. The “Jaws of Life” tools are also used to extricate victims trapped in debris resulting from natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, et cetera. Only trained emergency workers are authorized to use any of the “Jaws of Life” tools. To date, these tools have already saved thousands and thousands of human lives.
These life – saving tools are powered by hydraulics, although, they can also be powered by electricity and pneumatics. The ram is a simple cylinder that has pistons and a special type of fluid inside it. The fluid is phosphate – ester. This type of fluid is favored over the customary oil used in other hydraulic equipment because of its unique properties: it is fire – resistant and it does not conduct electricity.
Pressurized phosphate – ester fluid is pumped into the cylinder by one of the two available attached hoses. The force of the fluid forces the piston to move the other piston up and down the cylinder. The ram is used to force wrecked sections of a vehicle apart in order to free trapped victims. For example, if the roof of a vehicle is wrecked and pushed in, a ram can be positioned so that it pushes the roof up. This can allow emergency rescue workers to reach trapped accident victims. With added accessories, the ram can also be used to pull, instead of push.
Cutters and spreaders can also be powered by hydraulics, electricity, and pneumatics. Cutters come in assorted sizes, and a cutter can be used to cut a roof, door, et cetera, off of a wrecked vehicle, for example, to free trapped victims. A cutter has sharp, bladed jaws that open and close. It can easily cut through most of the materials that vehicles are manufactured with.
With the hydraulic – powered cutter, phosphate – ester oil is pumped into the cylinder of the cutter. This applies pressure to a piston. When the piston is in the “up” position, the jaws open; when the piston is in the “down” position, the jaws close. The emergency rescue worker who is operating the cutter can control the open and closed positions by changing the valve switch.
The spreader has two powerful pincer
– arms that are used to separate parts of a wrecked vehicle or a toppled building. The arms are closed and then positioned into a small space. When the arms are opened by an emergency rescue worker, they spread the materials apart in order to create a larger opening. The spreader can also be used to tear wrecked vehicles or buildings apart. Spreaders come in different sizes, too, but one certain size can provide sixteen thousand pounds of force. It can also provide over fourteen thousand pounds of pulling force.
There is also a versatile “Jaws of Life” tool that is a spreader and a cutter combined together into one machine. It has the sharp jaws of the cutter and the moveable arms of the spreader.There is also a versatile