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Who’s behind the tools at HURST® Jaws of Life? It’s team members like Mike Canon, who grew up seeing his dad serve firefighters and has spent his own career doing the same.

Mike’s dad owned a company that sold safety equipment. As Mike got older, he would work with his dad during summers. But his indoctrination into the industry came much earlier, tagging along on sales calls and demonstrations.

“One of my earliest memories in the business is watching my dad demonstrate new breathing technology at a fire academy,” Mike said. "At 8 or 9 years old, I would watch these guys walk out of a burn building like it’s just another day on the job. I remember thinking, ‘What a bunch of cool, tough guys.’

“Growing up, I really admired my dad; it’s a testament to him that I followed in his footsteps,” he added. “Like him, I love serving customers that have chosen a selfless career path – they spend their days helping people they don’t even know.”

Mike began working in the industry after graduating from the University of Maine. Over the past 20 years, he has worked for several equipment manufacturers and distributors in the United States and Canada. He joined HURST Jaws of Life as a sales manager in 2011, just three weeks before his son was born.

“We joke that my son is a HURST kid; at only 6 he knows exactly what the Jaws of Life are,” said Mike, who says having a child reaffirmed his passion for helping first responders save lives.

“For me, being a parent really brings home why firefighters and emergency personnel are so incredibly passionate about what they do. It’s very personal.

Today, Mike serves as director of rescue sales for HURST Jaws of Life, leading a team of the most passionate sales managers you’ll find in the business. He talks with automotive manufacturers about car designs and new metals, and to end users about their experiences with rescue tools. Insights from these partners help HURST Jaws of Life engineers understand the market’s evolving challenges and ensure they can match up tool designs with needs.

“We listen carefully to rescue companies’ input; sometimes it’s to find what little things we can change on the tool to make it more user friendly,” he said. “But from a passion-for-the-tools perspective, what fuels me every day is finding new ways to make our tools better, faster and easier.” #BehindTheTools