Spotlight: Hurst Jaws of Life committed to powerful, portable breaching tools

StrongArm helps responders to properly arm themselves in tactical rescue or rapid intervention

Company Name: Hurst Jaws of Life
Headquarters:   Shelby, N.C. 
Product: StrongArm 

Hurst Jaws of Life's commitment to research and development, along with its dedication to quality engineering and manufacturing, has resulted in a line of products known for their safety, durability and performance.

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Because Hurst Jaws of Life rescue tools reduce the time to extricate a patient from a car crash, literally snatching them from the “jaws of death,” the tool and company earned the name Jaws of Life.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

The Hurst Jaws of Life rescue tool system was the first ever of its kind the patent application was made on April 26, 1971. The tool was introduced to the market shortly thereafter. Originally manufactured by Hurst Performance Inc., in Warminster, PA, the tool was developed for use in the race car industry. Hurst Performance also manufactured the famous Hurst Shifter which was used extensively in race cars. The original tool was a two-part system consisting of a 32-inch hydraulic spreader powered by a two cycle gasoline power unit. When activated, the scissor-like spreaders opened and forced crushed metal away from trapped race car drivers.

3. What is your signature product and how does it work?

In 2010, Hurst Jaws of Life introduced the next generation in rescue tools – the eDRAULIC line of electric-hydraulic tools. The new, game-changing eDRAULIC line of rescue tools operate with an internal hydraulic pressure that generates the same force as the power unit driven tools. Utilizing electrical-over-hydraulic force eliminates the need for power units, hoses and hose reels.

This innovation led to the development of the StrongArm rescue tool, a versatile, multipurpose tool that fills a critical need for police and SWAT teams.

4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?

The StrongArm rescue tool is a game-changer for the police community. Customarily, police and SWAT teams have an arsenal of tools to choose from in the field, but StrongArm truly does it all. It breaches doors, cuts through rebar, security bars and locks. In addition, it is powerful enough to pry open car doors with ease. We’re very excited to introduce this remarkable tool to police and SWAT teams around the world.

5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?

Hurst Jaws of Life is leading the industry in keeping ahead of the challenging demands of police and SWAT teams. Hurst has developed a versatile, multipurpose tool that fills a critical need for police and SWAT teams.

Replacing a number of single purpose hand tools, StrongArm provides portable hydraulic power to use in a variety of applications. With a built-in Picatinny accessory rail and a four position handle, StrongArm breaches, cuts, lifts and spreads. More specifically, it can cut through 3/8” rebar, grade 43 chain, two-by-four wood and is in protection class IP54. The compact, portable design makes StrongArm easy to carry and allows it to fit into tight spaces.

6. What makes your company unique?

Hurst is the only manufacturer of the Jaws of Life and StrongArm brands. There is no equal to saving lives. Hurst’s commitment to research and development and dedication to quality engineering and manufacturing, has resulted in a line of innovative products known for outstanding safety, durability and performance. The Hurst Jaws of Life brand is the most trusted brand in the industry.

7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?

Power, speed and innovation

Hurst Jaws of Life keeps those three critical goals in mind when designing new tools for our customers:

Power – Tools need more brute force in breaching, cutting and spreading to deal with the unprecedented needs of police and SWAT teams.

Speed – Rescues are increasingly requiring more breaching maneuvers, so cycle speed and speed under load as well as fast deployment are critical.

Innovation – Unprecedented needs are taxing police and SWAT team budgets faster than can be addressed, so designing tools that reach further into the future is vital.

8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?

Providing the finest, most reliable rescue products to first responders.

10. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?

Hurst will continue the development of the StrongArm product line in order to provide additional new, game-changing StrongArm rescue tools to answer the unmet needs of the first responder community.
Stay tuned!

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