The Merced County Fire Department received a $91,262 grant this month to purchase new extrication equipment.
Known as the “jaws of life,” first responders use these specialized tools to safely rescue crash victims trapped inside a vehicle.
In 2021, Merced County Fire responded to 3,105 crashes in which 91 required extrication, according to Merced County Fire Battalion Chief Greg Padilla.
“This new equipment will help reduce the time it takes for us to safely reach someone who needs immediate medical attention,” Padilla said. “The OTS grant funding will give us the opportunity to purchase modern rescue tools and provide training to first responders that is critical for the care of those injured in crashes.”
Delays in providing care to crash victims impacts the “golden hour” of survival, a core principle in the emergency medical services industry. Reducing the time it takes to get to the patient, treat what can be treated, and transport the patient to the hospital helps increase the chance for recovery.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.