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It was a beautiful autumn day in Western Ohio when Payne Division of Fire & EMS was called to the scene of a single-vehicle accident. A loaded semi-tanker carrying fertilizer had rolled over into a ditch, blocking both doors and entrapping the driver in the cab. The village’s volunteer crew quickly responded with commitment, passion and the station’s HURST Jaws of Life 5,000 PSI cutter, spreader and ram.

With the extrication underway, the team called on a medic unit from New Haven, Indiana, and a rescue engine from Woodburn Fire for more tools and more man power. Thanks to the strength of six tools and seven responders working quickly and efficiently, the patient was removed and flown to a nearby trauma center in Ohio. The extrication had the result all first responders work toward: a life saved. Captain Josh Anderson applauds the heroes on the scene – Assistant Chief Jesse Hefner, Lt. John Hall, former Chief Jamie Mansfield and firefighters Gary Gasser, Zach Mansfield, Ben Thomas and Shelby Williams.

“My favorite thing about being a first responder is helping others when they’re at their worst because that’s when they need it the most,” said Anderson. “What we do as first responders is a team effort. Everyone at that scene played a role in saving a life.

Anderson nominated the team for HURST Jaws of Life Green Cross recognition, an honor awarded to those who use HURST Jaws of Life to save a life. An experienced first responder who has been with the department since 2002, Anderson has seen several of his firefighters recognized for their actions over the years. He entered the field as a firefighter and EMT and continually proved his skill and commitment. Today, as the station’s captain, Anderson makes department decisions daily – who to send to answer a call, how to keep the team motivated and the best way to allocate funds. He also coaches the department and educates new volunteers on how to use their hydraulic HURST Jaws of Life.

“New team members are able to learn how to use HURST rescue tools pretty quickly,” Anderson said. “By having tools that are easy to use, we can train new firefighters, practice with the equipment and send them into the field in a very short time frame.”

“It’s never good news when we’re called, but when we can give someone a better outcome than what might be expected, and get a smile out of them, it’s pretty neat,” he said.

Know someone whose heroic actions with HURST Jaws of Life make them a candidate for Green Cross honors? Click here for the nomination form.