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Weirton firefighters get equipment upgrades

Updated: Wednesday, May 7 2014, 05:44 PM EDT
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. -- The Weirton Fire Department has new rescue equipment that will save more lives.
It's something the department has needed for years - a new hydraulic rescue tool, commonly known as the Jaws of Life.
"It's a much stronger, much faster updated tool than what we had," Weirton Fire Chief Jerry Schumate said.
The money to purchase the tool, which can be used to rip apart a car or force building doors open in an emergency, came from a grant from steel-maker ArcelorMittal.
"In the City of Weirton, the budget's very tight," Schumate said.
"When somebody gives you $7,500 to upgrade your equipment, it's very well received. We appreciate everything that ArcelorMittal has done with this grant."
The tool cuts and breaks through metal at a much quicker speed. It's necessary for cars today because they are being made with stronger steel.
"I've been in Weirton now for 9 years and many times the fire department has come in," ArcelorMittal General Manager Brian James said. "When we heard the opportunity for the Jaws of Life and the upgrades and the advancements that have been made, the piece of equipment that we saw was just so much lighter and it just fit very well  ... we're happy to help out."
The Weirton Fire Department is one of 21 departments near ArcelorMittal facilities that received funding for the new rescue tools.

Weirton firefighters get equipment upgrades

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