New equipment provides bigger rescue bite for local firefighters

Photo by Chris Jackett

Pry, pry again
A Dearborn firefighter uses the new Res Q Tec tool to remove the door of a Ford F-150 pickup truck during a demonstration Thursday.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – Local officials and the media got a preview of the Fire Department’s latest lifesaving technology Thursday.

A new Res Q Tec, a Jaws of Life-type claw, recently was purchased by the city with a $97,000 Assistance to Firefighters federal grant. A demonstration of the new technology on a 2009 Ford F-150 truck last week displayed the power behind the new jaws, which are stronger, spread 7 inches wider and weighs about 45 pounds – lighter than the previous model.

“This keeps us at top-notch best equipment on the road,” said Deputy Fire Chief Dean Creech. “We can get through with the old equipment, but sometimes it’s much more time consuming.”

The new equipment was necessary because manufacturers such as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors continue to make increasingly stronger frames for vehicles. For example, about 55 percent of a 2012 Ford Focus’ structure is advanced, high-strength Boron steel, which is four times as strong as regular steel.

Ford Motor Co. donated 12 vehicles to Dearborn’s Fire Department for training and demonstration purposes.

Dearborn firefighters respond to about 1,000 vehicle accidents every year, many of which require “jaws of life” type equipment.

“Our principal goal is to protect public health and safety,” said Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. “Our response time is one of the shortest in the state.”

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