Contra Costa to get new 'jaws of life' 

Thanks to a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District will be buying new "Jaws of Life" equipment used for cutting crash victims out of vehicles.

The $152,000 grant will pay for new disentanglement and extraction equipment for seven first responder vehicles serving the areas of Pittsburg, Antioch, WalnutCreek, Concord and Martinez, according to fire district spokeswoman Emily Hopkins.

The new equipment will help firefighter emergency medical technicians get crash victims out of their vehicles and en route to hospitals more quickly, which will their chances of survival.

According to Hopkins, the fire district responds to about 1,900 traffic collisions each year and about one-fourth of those crashes involve somebody trapped inside a vehicle. Meanwhile, newer vehicles with improved construction require up-to-date extraction equipment, Hopkins said.

The fire district plans to place the new equipment strategically throughout its 304 square-mile service area, which includes nine cities, large unincorporated areas and four major highways.

Funding for the grant comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

— Bay City News

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