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The History Of Automotive Extrication In Westchester

11 posts in this topic

I'm curious to know how automotive extrication responsiblities fell upon many PD's in Westchester up until the late 90's?

Many muncipalites, such as Westchester County PD (first Hurst tool in the county), Bedford PD, Greenburgh PD, and Yonkers PD were the primary extrication agencies in their areas......in some cases, the FD's didn't even carry a set of tools.

I remember doing a pin job on the Saw Mill River Parkway at Executive Blvd. in 1997. Westchester County ESU and Rob Barber showed up with the tool, and Tac One EMT's Frank Califano and Dan Shultz assisted with the extrication while my medic unit treated the patient. No FD whatsoever.

As we know, things and roles evolved, as did the equipment required. Fire Departments in most cases do pin jobs, and in some cities ESU as well. But, how was it decided that the "Jaws Of Life" would be a PD thing?

Who assisted the PD with the tool (which required 2 people to hold)

Also, when a lot of these PD's transitioned over to FD's handling pins, a lot of knowledge and experience was lost. Are there still any "old school" Police Officers out there who are very proficient in extrication?

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The Mt. Pleasant Police Dept. took delivery of a Hurst Tool spreaders and power unit in the Spring of 1976, I believe, if my memory serves me correctly.

A group of us received training from the Hurst Tool Company rep; and we then trained our own people, even producing our own training video.

The unit was housed in the retro-fitted trunk of a patrol vehicle, which was equipped with heavy duty rear-end suspension.

Mutliple units were always dispatched to serious MVAs, so assistance in handling the equipment was never an issue.

A little primitive, yes, but it served the department well very for many years, prior to the local Fire Depts assuming the role.

While techniques have certainly changed over the years, alot of what I learned back in those early years, still serves me well today.

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I believe and I know someone will correct me if im wrong I think in NYC pd still does extrication as well as fire

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Greenburgh P.D. Recievied it's first hurst tool Jan 1981. I think what prompted them getting the tool was an accident on Tarrytown Rd. at the intersection of Taxter Rd 11/1980. A tool was requested from any available town fire or police and it took about 30 minutes for Westchester County Parkway Police to show up. Greenburghs Tool was intially operated by the Police officer/Paramedic and was used as a one man operation. The other officers along with the fire dept would help but as far as I remeber they were not trained. By the medic's having to use the tool it took away from pt care. Greenburgh Police carried the tool in the fly car (73) till 2003 (not sure after that date) In the mid 1980 a lot of Fd in Greenburgh also purchased the hurst tool so if there was only one Paramedic and the fire dept was on the scene the Fire Depts would use there tool. If more then one medic was working it was usually a dual response., with the first unit setting up and starting the extracation and as more units arrived it was turned over to either the 2nd medic treating or the FD useing the tool. It actually worked and usually there was no rivialy and Pt care was what both the Pd & FD cared about most

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My recollection is that Greenville FD was the first fire department in Westchester to have a Hurst tool. Probably around 1975.

When County Fire Control was at Parkway PD HQ, we used to dispatch mutual aid frequently for pin jobs.

The "tool" surely beat the old "port-a-power."

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Briarcliff purchased their first Hurst Tool somewhere around early 1974. Tommy Daggett was the Chief at the time and Wesco Fire Equipment had one in the shop. Tommy stopped in to see Bernie Rosenblatt and bought it right then and there. The original spreaders have been refurbished and are still on Engine 92.

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I agree and believe that Briarcliff VFD was the first tool in the county.

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LOL...I remember that job...a door pop with the HUGE HEAVY Hurst tool...I was all bugged up after that...

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NYPD ESU and FDNY both perform extrication. When hurst tools were introduced to the city in the late 70's FDNY had their hands full with fire duty so ESU began carrying and were trained by FDNY Rescue members. Now every ladder in the city has a set of tools.

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I recall around 1978 Yonkers PD ESU had a hurst tool in there ESU station wagons.

The PD was the first agency to carry hurst tools in Yonkers.

Edited by Steve

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I know some of the best training I received on the Hurst Tool was back in 1992. Training was given by PO Dennis Suarino, of the Westchester County PD, who IIRC was a Hurst authorized trainer. Spent a long 8 hour day at the Training Center in Valhalla cutting cars all day long. When I had to the chance to go again about a year later I jumped on it. One thing I remember was his photo album of jobs the he went to. Lots of photos. With a long day like that, one thing you learned quickly was hydrate yourself, and more importantly let the tool do the work, do not try to fight it.

Edited by grumpyff

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