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Who’s behind the tools at HURST Jaws of Life? Meet Lee Durbin, a man who believes that everything happens for a reason.

Lee was 16 years old when he first got his hands on a HURST Jaws of Life tool as a volunteer firefighter. Doing work for the tool that previously had been his tool for work brings him full circle.

“I knew how to work the Jaws of Life, but I never had to build one,” said the North Carolina native who has been married for 18 years and has three sons. His wife, Lisa, is a 911 Dispatcher, which makes theirs a nice family story about helping the first responder community.

“I make the tools so Lisa can send out the firemen, and they use the tools to get the people out,” he said. “It all comes back around full circle if you think about it.”

These small pressure parts are so small you can barely see them with your eye, but it will hold up to 10,000 PSI.

At work, Lee builds and tests HURST Jaws of Life’s 5,000 and 10,000 PSI hose line tools, conducting high pressure and low pressure tests. He’s assembling as he talks, and he holds up a piece that looks almost impossibly little in his hands. “These small pressure parts are so small you can barely see them with your eye, but it will hold up to 10,000 PSI,” he says with pride.

A graduate of Cleveland County Community College, Lee had been a roofer when he decided to make a career move. He first found HURST Jaws of Life through an employment agency, having never imagined the tools he used as a young volunteer would be part of his life again. That hands-on-experience gives Lee a unique perspective as he works to assemble the legendary Jaws of Life rescue tool. As Lee says, “I believe everything happens for a reason.”