Firemen get to check out some new toys

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

VERONA – Because firemen are often too busy to check out new equipment, Sunbelt Fire and some other vendors brought the equipment to them Wednesday.
Area firemen viewed new fire technology during the event at the Lee County Agri-Center. Alan Gho, territorial manager of Sunbelt Fire, and Jerry Pilarski, regional manager for Task Force Tips Fire Fighting Equipment, threw a customer appreciation dinner for the firemen as an appetizer to the introduction of some new battery-powered Jaws-of-Life tools.
Nearly all 18 fire departments in Lee County already have the heavy cutting tools at their disposal but none of their tools are quite like the ones seen on Wednesday. David Homan, Lee County’s fire coordinator and a Shannon fireman, said departments currently use hydraulic-powered Jaws of Life, but the concept of simply snapping on a battery pack was interesting and hard to believe.
“We are here to see this thing work,” said Homan. “I’m not sure if it will be as powerful as the ones we use now, but that’s why we are here.”
Tupelo Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Avery said he also was curious about the new machines.
“I’m wondering how strong this thing will be with the battery pack and how long of a life the battery has,” said Avery. “These are important questions when it comes to responding to accidents.”
Gho said equipment is constantly changing so having a chance to show it off to potential customers is beneficial.
“You want to make sure this stuff works well before you have to use it in an emergency,” said Gho. “That’s the good thing about demonstrations like this one. The guys get to see up close how all of this equipment works.”

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.