WATCH: Fire fighters cut up car with new jaws of life tools
FOR firefighters like Neil Lesmond and Jason McClosky, being able to reach people in difficult situations could be the difference between life and death.
The on-duty firefighters at the Torquay fire station spent yesterday learning to operate new battery-powered "jaws of life" tools, used to free crash victims from their cars.
Training officer Jason McClosky said compared with the current tools, the battery-powered cutters and separators would allow the firefighters to move around a crash scene more freely, making it easier to go where they need to.
"They're more efficient," Mr McClosky said. "Compared to the hydraulic tools that create a hazard because of the cables they are attached to.
"The new ones work at about the same speed, but are easier to use."
The hydraulic jaws of life are powered when attached to a generator, and are stored in the fire trucks.
Station officer Neil Lesmond said the new "E-draulic" tools were more portable and could be charged in the back of the station's new off-road, six-wheel vehicle.
"They can be taken to Fraser Island via helicopter which the other ones could not, because they are fuel powered," Mr Lesmond said.
"The cords on the old ones only stretch 30 metres, whereas these ones can be taken pretty much anywhere - down cliffs for example."
The training day was run by national training officer Garry Muldoon, from Lukas rescue equipment.
He said battery-powered tools were being distributed to fire stations across Queensland, with about 16 stations receiving them so far.
The Bay station will start using the equipment along with the new off-road vehicle within three months.