Sherman firefighters train with new extrication tools

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SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- Sherman firefighters now have a quicker and easier way to save people who are trapped after a crash.

"With extrication, every minute counts, every second counts," Sherman firefighter James Cummings said.

Sherman fire responded to 374 crashes in 2017. Fire Division Chief Thomas Brown said about 10 percent of those involved people who were trapped in the wreckage.

"When we roll up to a scene and arrive and know that we have to extricate the patient from the car, it's stressful, it's extremely stressful, it's emotional," Brown said.

Over the holidays, they had four extrications lasting about 30 minutes each.

"You're worried about how the patients are, where you can make access," Cummings said.

With equipment that's more than 12 years old, Brown said it was time to get the latest tools.

So they recently bought two new complete sets of extrication tools. Instead of having to plug them in, these are battery powered.

"They're a lighter, quicker system," Cummings said.

Wednesday, Highway 82 Metal Recyclers allowed the crews to come out and practice on its cars. The tools cut straight through the material, ripping off doors in just seconds.

"So once again, it's just speeding up our process to getting to the patient and getting the patient out," Cummings said.

The city also bought a new aerial truck for the fire department.

The new tool sets cost about $45,000 total, but Chief Brown said you can't put a price on saving someone's life.

"We're all in this for one reason and it's because we enjoy helping people," Brown said.

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