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Who’s behind the scenes at HURST Jaws of Life? It’s team members like Karen Dixon, who is fueled by pride and affection.

Karen is shipping coordinator and part of the trade compliance team at HURST Jaws of Life’s Shelby, N.C., facility, and it’s part of her job to know what rescue tools are in stock and then make sure those cutters, spreaders, combi tools and multi-tools get out the door to the customer.

Calendars, colored file folders and computer screens show an organized workspace, and Karen’s company and product knowledge are readily apparent. In her 10 years with the rescue tool manufacturer, she has worked on the assembly line, in purchasing and in customer service, so she knows the tools and customers inside and out. That experience gives her a unique perspective in a position that’s among the last hands to touch the tools as they head out to first responders. It’s not a job Karen takes lightly.

“What we build saves lives,” she says. “I’m proud of what I do.”

When she talks about her life outside HURST Jaws of Life, it’s with a different kind of pride.  She beams when she talks about her granddaughter Skylan, who clearly has her “Mimi” wrapped around her three-year-old finger. Truth be told, when you see Skylan’s sweet face in the photo above Karen’s desk, you find yourself feeling a little bit wrapped around that finger, too.

And then there’s the bike. And not just any bike. It’s a Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 that she  loves to take to the open road. Where’s she headed? “Wherever the road goes,” she says.