MADERA COUNTY – The Madera County Fire Department was awarded a $74,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for new extrication equipment.
Known as the “jaws of life,” first responders use these specialized tools to reach crash victims trapped inside a vehicle.
So far this year, Madera County Fire has responded to 22 crashes in which extrication was required.
“This newer equipment is lighter and easier to use, allowing us to rescue victims faster, which ultimately increases their chances of survival,” said Madera County Fire, Assistant Chief, Matthew Watson. “In many cases, even minutes without treatment can be a matter of life and death, which is why it is important to have reliable equipment that allows first responders to provide care as quickly as possible.”
“Emergency response is a critical ally for traffic safety,” OTS Director Barbara Rooney said. “This much-needed funding provides first responders with the necessary tools to assist crash victims.”
Delays in extrication can negatively impact the patient’s critical “golden hour” of survival. The “golden hour” for Emergency Medical Services is the core principle of helping individuals with critical injuries: 1) get to the patient quickly, 2) treat what can be treated on scene, and 3) transfer the patient to a hospital.
Anything that can be done to reduce each of these time periods aids in recovery and survival.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.