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Who’s behind the tools at HURST Jaws of Life? It’s formerly scrappy guys with Mr. Olympia dreams, like Justin Humphries from our assembly line.

In high school, Justin weighed in at about 130 pounds. He was little and fast, which made him perfectly suited for track. But he always dreamed of a larger physique. And apparently, when Justin sets his mind to something, there’s no stopping him. He made a plan and got to work. Six years later, Justin is an imposing figure and hefts giant toolboxes to his shoulder like they’re full of feathers.

“I just wanted to be bigger. Actually, I always wanted to be Mr. Olympia,” he laughs, talking about how as a kid he’d watch the professional men's bodybuilding contest on TV and wonder about his own potential.

Determination proved his friend. So, too, did years as a construction worker, which helped him build muscle and focus on fitness.

As big as he is, Justin’s personality is friendly and engaging. “I’m actually a big teddy bear,” he said.

That side of his personality meshes perfectly with his role as a parent. His two kids – ages 8 and 4 – are his focus outside work. Justin’s interest in physical fitness is shared by his family. His eight-year-old daughter plays baseball with the boys, and Justin, proud dad that he is, brags that she’s faster than all of them. She must take after her father, who has a gaggle of Turkey Trot medals and a 5:38 mile to prove it.

With speed and determination family traits in the Humphries household, it’s no wonder he found a home at HURST Jaws of Life. On the assembly line, Justin puts the finishing touches on the rescue tools that ensure determined first responders can get to the patient quickly.

Justin, who lives near HURST’s Shelby, N.C., manufacturing plant, joined the team about six months ago.

“I have a friend who works here, and he told me how great it was,” Justin said. “And it really is. It’s a very, very good place. Great people, great tools. You can’t beat it.”

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