Northwest Fire District gets new vehicle extrication equipment

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The Northwest Fire District is getting new vehicle extrication tools thanks to grant money.

According to a press release from the agency, the $31,900 grant from the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety will go towards the rescue tools.

Captain Brian Keeley says the main difference between the extrication equipment they're using now compared to the new stuff is the power source. The cutter, spreaders and ram purchased are battery operated. The current equipment used is gas-operated. 

"The nice thing about this new set is we're essentially not tethered to anything, so we have some freedom and mobility when we need to remove someone from the vehicle," Keeley said. 

That will make it easier to help someone that may have run their car off of the road or in an area that's hard to reach, Keeley said.

In 2016 Northwest Fire reports crews responded to 960 car accidents. About 218 of them occurred on a 21 miles stretch of I-10 or Oracle Road, according to statistics from the district.

Keeley says cars nowadays are built to absorb the impact during a crash so people have a better chance of survival. 

"What you see is people are surviving accidents now that maybe they would have nor survived 30 or 40 years ago," Keeley said. "But the car is more damaged and we have to tear away or remove pieces of that car to get them out of the vehicle."

The new equipment should be in use within the week. 

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