Hurst Power Rescue Tool (Jaws of Life)


In the 1960s, George Hurst designed a 350-pound hydraulic spreader tool to help remove race car drivers from wrecks. He hired Mike Brick to market the device nationwide. Brick downsized it to 65 pounds and pitched the Hurst Power Rescue Tool to fire departments in the early 1970s as a way to free accident victims from cars. The tool was an instant success because it was faster, safer, more powerful, and easier to use than power saws, pry bars, and blow torches. It acquired the nickname “The Jaws of Life” because of a line in a promotional film. The Carlsbad, New Mexico fire department bought this tool in 1977 and used it until 2012.

Date Made: 1977

Maker: Hurst

Location: Currently on loan

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, Warrington

See more items in: Work and Industry: Transportation, Road, Transportation, Road Transportation


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of the Carlsbad Fire Department

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2012.0110.01Accession Number: 2012.0110Catalog Number: 2012.0110.01

Object Name: rescue tool

Physical Description: metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 34 in x 15 in x 9 in; 86.36 cm x 38.1 cm x 22.86 cm


Record Id: nmah_1431924

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