The New Hampton Fire Department has some new gear and it may go a long way toward saving lives.

“If we have to cut a door, spread a door. Cut a roof off a car. Some incidents, we don’t have the ability to remove the accident victim, without taking the roof off the car," said Terry Reynolds, chief of the department.

What You Need To Know

  • The New Hampton Fire Department acquired new, mobile Jaws of Life equipment

  • Pay for the equipment was partially fitted by Competitive Power Ventures, the corporation that runs the Wawayanda power plant

  • The equipment includes a hydraulic cutter and spreader

New Hampton is training its volunteer firefighters with its new, portable Jaws of Life equipment. Its purchase was made possible by Competitive Power Ventures, the corporation that runs the CPV Valley power plant in Wawayanda.

Reynolds says the need for this came after a fatal plane crash in Middletown in 2018.

“One vehicle that went in to assess the situation promptly got stuck in the mud," Reynolds says. "We wound up borrowing UTVs from the local Kawasaki dealership, and then we had to wait for the Mechanicstown Fire Department to get here with some portable tools and manpower to assist us.”

Reynolds did not want to be forced to wait again. This new equipment is more mobile than the department’s older equipment; only one or two people need to operate these units, compared to three or four with the older ones.

The new, battery-powered tools operate with 20,000 pounds of pressure, which can be used to spread a locked door wide open or cut through a car’s frame with ease. They're powerful enough to lift a truck when an immediate extraction is necessary.

Reynolds says this equipment will be a "game changer," not only for the department, but for the community it serves.