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HURST Jaws of Life’s Shelby, N.C., plant is typically a buzz of activity, but on a few days in late April much of the equipment quieted and machinists and assemblers gathered: it was go time. More than 500 miles away in Indianapolis, rescue specialist trainers were about to dismantle a Tesla Model X to show first responders at FDIC – HURST’s largest trade show of the year – how HURST Jaws of Life tools are made to match up to the high-strength steels in today’s cars. And Joseph Bell was ready to watch.

“We watched it on Facebook Live. We saw all the things the tools could cut, and it’s like, man, I made that,” said Joseph Bell, who has been with HURST Jaws of Life for two years and has undergone extensive training on tool assembly for the new eDRAULIC tools that were launched at FDIC. “Just to see the tools work and see all the power and know that you put it together – it feels good.”

It’s why Joseph chose to work at HURST Jaws of Life. It feels good. It’s amazing to him that the tools they build in Shelby are used across the country to save lives, and he says he’s never had a workplace that was so caring about its employees’ own lives. Plus, he gets to make an impact on others, through more than building tools.

Joseph recently volunteered with HURST Jaws of Life to set up and staff a booth at the American Cancer Society’s local Relay for Life event.

“I have a grandmother who survived breast cancer, so when they asked me if I wanted to volunteer I said I’d love to help,” said Joseph, who spends much of his free time with his two sons, girlfriend and extended family, and helping his retired parents with projects like yard work. “It was a great event, seeing all the cancer survivors and celebrating the lives of those you lost. When you lose someone to cancer, you don’t mourn your whole life; you celebrate their life.”