SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — New life-saving tools are making their way into Sac Metro Fire stations, and not a moment too soon.
A crew of firefighters who just completed their training had to put the tools to the test on Tuesday. They responded to a rollover crash on westbound Interstate 80 near Davis.
They’re faster, stronger and lighter.
“It’s one spreader, one cutter and three different sized rams, and they all have specialized purposes for extrication,” said Sac Metro Fire Capt. Grant Russell.
These new life-saving tools bring new meaning to rescues when seconds and minutes count.
“The training is just starting for our personnel; we will actually use these tools to cut apart as we go through the extrication process on actual vehicles,” Russell said.
CBS13 got a quick look at what the tools can do, and they can crush and cut through way more than wood.
“These are what we use to help create spaces in doors to get the cutters in, we can also lift vehicles with them,” said one firefighter training on the new tools.
“We will go through different scenarios like how to remove a roof using these tools, how to roll a dashboard off an entrapped person, how to remove a door from a car,” listed Russell.
A different Sac Metro Fire crew got the same training on Monday. Within hours, they were using the new tools at a rollover crash on I-80 near Davis.
“Normally the tools used are the spreaders and the cutters, the more technical the situation gets, we will use the rams,” said Russell.
In this case, fire crews used a ram to keep the DUI driver’s car from rolling into traffic.
Looking back at the extrication devices used over the past decade, Russell says it would have taken a lot more manpower and time to do what these firefighters did in minutes.
“They make our job safer and more efficient,” Russell said.
The new tools haven’t yet rolled out to every station in the district; each shift first has to complete training before they get the equipment.