A Texoma volunteer fire department has new life saving equipment. Wichita West VFD firefighters are the owners of a brand new extrication device. The VFD's Fire Chief says he and his firefighters have been stuck using twenty year old jaws of life equipment. They received the new device this week and have the community to thank.
Brinkman says, "These were paid for 100 percent by community donations."
Brinkman proudly displays his stations brand new extrication device, a life saving tool his station desperately needed.
"We've had to call for mutual aid because our jaws could just not keep up with the demand," he said.
Before getting this new extrication device this week, firefighters were having to do their best with twenty year old equipment. Brinkman says their old extrication device failed to do its job twice. The most recent time was last week's deadly two vehicle crash on Seymour Highway.
"It was just very discouraging when you got to a wreck and you couldn't help anybody, you had to wait on somebody else," Brinkman recalled.
The old cutters couldn't get through the car metal. He said newer cars are manufactured with tougher materials, making it an impossible job for their weathered equipment.
"At the same time that they are making them safe, they are making them extremely difficult for first responders to safely and quickly extricate the victims out of the cars."
But that's all changed. It is the department's hope this new equipment will help them be more efficient.
"The community we protect, they expect us to be ready for anything and its all about patient care," said Brinkman.
And without the help from generous community donors, he says this much needed purchase would not have been possible. "We like the community to know that we are being responsible with their donations and we are using their donations to better our department so we can be better prepared for anything that arrives."
The new extrication equipment cost about $22,000.