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Published: Wednesday, 6/18/2008

Grant award will purchase replacement 'Jaws of Life' for Oregon

The Oregon Fire Department is able to purchase a new hydraulic rescue tool, thanks to a grant from the Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.

The award is worth $19,848. In order to receive the grant, the city of Oregon must pay 20 percent of the amount given, bringing the grant's total to $24,810.

The fire department applied through the Fireman's Fund Heritage grant program of the Novato, Calif.-based company.

Oregon Fire Chief Bill Wilkins said he hopes to use the money to replace the department's current hydraulic rescue tool, commonly known as the Jaws of Life, which dates to 1984.

In order to apply, fire departments must be nominated by facilities insured by Fireman's Fund. The Sleep Inn and Comfort Inn, both in Oregon, made the award nomination.

"This is a start for us. This is what we need," said Mr. Wilkins.

Last summer, the department received a grant worth over $230,000, which was used to purchase pants, helmets, and other protective gear, as well as a fire hose and an emergency generator for Oregon's Station One.

Mr. Wilkins said he hopes to have the Jaws of Life delivered in the next six to eight weeks.

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