Marin County gets grant for "Jaws of Life" extrication tools

Marin County has received a $190,000 grant to purchase five extrication devices known as "the jaws of life" to first responders in west Marin.

The grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety includes $80,000 to the Marin County Fire Department.

Funding was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The tool is used to break apart a wrecked vehicle to free trapped victims inside, cutting the time it takes to rescue and treat them.

"This newer equipment is 50 percent lighter, safer, with better ergonomic design and is capable of extricating patients from advanced high-technology vehicles," Marin County Fire Department Battalion Bret McTigue said.

First responders say delays in extrication can negatively impact a patient's "golden hour" of trauma survivability.

The golden hour includes getting to the patient, treating what can be treated at the scene and getting the patient to the right hospital.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors accepted the grant on Sept. 24.

The Marin County Fire Department has responded to 201 crashes this year, and 28 required extrication.