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Johnny Herman joined HURST Jaws of Life as a machinist three years ago. He had an opportunity to work for a race team, which is kind of a big deal in HURST Jaws of Life’s home state of North Carolina, where the majority of NASCAR’s elite race teams keep their shops. He says he’s glad he didn’t pursue that career path. Instead, he’s part of a team that’s racing to get the patient out of a dangerous situation and quickly to medical attention.

“Every minute counts when you’re saving lives,” said Herman, who manufactures parts to spec for HURST Jaws of Life spreaders, cutters and combi tools. “If these tools aren’t up to qualifications, if the product isn’t right, it could cost someone their life.”

Machining parts for rescue tools is a job that takes careful attention, and he brings that focus to his free time, too. It serves him well in his passion for hunting (deer and turkey) and fishing (he’s a trout fisherman). He balances these hobbies with spending time with his wife of 29 years and two children, one of whom is a marine and has already done one tour of duty.

Every minute counts when you're saving lives. If these tools aren’t up to qualifications, if the product isn’t right, it could cost someone their life.

“It’s my first time working for safety,” he said, reminiscing on his 30 years as a machinist in different industries. “I challenged myself with this job, and I’m glad I did.”

We are, too, Johnny, because there may not be a trophy presentation every Sunday, but we think this Winner’s Circle is a whole lot more meaningful.

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