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A sunny summer sky and warm weather made it the perfect day to ride with the convertible top down in Bastrop, Texas. But then, what could’ve been a driving error, vehicle malfunction or unexpected distraction led to a three-vehicle accident on Texas 71. The crash flipped the convertible upside down, pinning the patient’s leg underneath the car.

The city of Bastrop received the call and Bastrop County ESD #2 quickly arrived at the scene to analyze the accident and extricate the patient. First responder Captain Erick Johns visits motor vehicle accidents frequently, but said he had never responded to a flipped convertible.

“As we headed to the scene of the convertible accident, we started planning out what we thought we could do with the tools and team we had,” Johns said.

With an open vehicle, there is less material to cut through, but also much less steel to protect the patient.

Johns and his team used airbags to lift one side of the convertible and a HURST Jaws of Life spreader to lift the other. Multiple cribbings were used to hold the car up while they reached for the entrapped patient. With the help of his crew, Johns was able to free the patient from underneath the car.

HURST Jaws of Life rescue tools are only as good as the first responders who use them, and the passion that fuels Johns’ commitment to the rescue reflects HURST’s commitment to providing exceptional rescue tools.  In recognition of his efforts, Johns earned Green Cross honors from HURST Jaws of Life in 2016. He joined the ranks 1,673 other Green Cross recipients last year, including fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and law enforcement officers from 37 U.S. states, Canada, and Central and South America.

“We’ve used HURST Jaws of Life for five years, and the new eDRAULIC tools are great,” said Johns, whose station is serviced by MES. “We need to get to the patient quickly and efficiently and the Jaws of Life are there to help us do that.”