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Hendersonville Fire Department Chief Scotty Bush remembers like yesterday one of the first times he realized the incomparable advantage of battery-powered rescue tools. Three years ago, Chief Bush – who was captain at the time – and his team were called to the scene of a wall collapse; a 25-foot concrete wall had fallen at a construction site with three men underneath.

“We had such an issue getting our apparatus to the scene – first to navigate all the construction traffic, and then to get to the wall,” said Bush, who has been serving as a firefighter for 31 years. That day, the company had with it both their hose reel rescue tools and their battery-powered HURST Jaws of Life® eDRAULIC® tools. “It was easier to navigate and get the battery-powered tools to the scene.”

They were the first arriving company on the scene, and the wall had fallen in such a way that a 25-foot section was in one piece. The first responders weren’t sure where to start looking for one of the patients. They split up into different companies and began the search, including assistance from nearby Nashville Fire Department, who came to the scene with cameras to aid in the confined space search. Hendersonville FD breached the concrete and used their eDRAULIC spreaders to lift the concrete, then used cribbing for stabilization and hand tools for assistance.

“Some of the concrete had rebar, and we used our eDRAULIC cutter to cut it. We used it to cut the concrete, too, worried that cutting with a handsaw might put us too close to the patient,” Bush said.

The company had been using eDRAULIC for a few years at the time of the wall collapse. The innovative line of tools launched in 2010, bringing the industry the first battery-powered tool with the power of a hose line tool. For companies like Hendersonville Fire Department, they’ve found too many occasions where the portability is key to the rescue.

“In our area of Tennessee, we have one major thoroughfare with pretty large drops offs, taking you to areas where reels just won’t reach,” he said. “With battery-powered tools, you’re not limited in distance by a 250-foot hose, you don’t have to transport the power unit, and there aren’t any tripping hazards. They make the job easier.”