District 1 Firefighter Association donates new rescue equipment

Members of the Peninsula's firefighter association, right, bought and donated this equipment used to pry open wrecked vehicles using funds donated by Mildred Waters.

OCEAN PARK - District No. 1 Firefighter Association recently donated two new sets of extrication equipment to the fire district. As a part of her estate, the late Mildred Waters generously donated a portion of her estate to the Firefighter Association to enhance emergency medical and rescue services.

The new sets of special equipment replaced tools that were more than 25 years old, and include a spreader (commonly known as the Jaws of Life), heavy cutter and a new hydraulic power unit. The new equipment will work more efficiently with today's vehicle construction features. Some examples of improvements include: expanded tips for the spreaders, increased cutting force by more than 300 percent and the ability to operate multiple tools at the same time with the hydraulic power unit.

The firefighter association uses donations from the community to improve firefighter safety, provide specialized training and acquire new equipment. Together, the fire district and the association work to enhance many fire and emergency medical services provided to the community.

Fire District No. 1 has mutual aid agreements with neighboring agencies to provide extrication services, making the response area of this equipment from Leadbetter Point to the Astoria-Megler Bridge. So far in 2010, the fire district has already responded to eight vehicle accidents that necessitated freeing trapped victims with these extrication tools.

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