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Edgar Mauney’s sky blue University of North Carolina ball cap is like a beacon across the HURST Jaws of Life plant floor. It stands out among the shiny silver of the cordless rescue tools being made, the bright pink hydraulic fluid coursing through the clear-acrylic testing machines, and the rich navy blue and yellow logos of the HURST Jaws of Life and eDRAULIC posters on the wall. Or maybe it’s his face that is beaming.

“I’ve been a UNC fan since I was a kid,” said the North-Carolina native with a smile and a deaf ear to the heckling of his workmates next to him. Mauney, who attended the school’s Michael Jordan basketball camp when he was younger, is ripe with pride over the Tar Heel’s NCAA championship this year; he stayed up for the climactic end of the 2017 title game well past midnight, and he wasn’t a minute late for his early morning shift at HURST Jaws of Life.

That’s not surprising, since the rescue tool is equally emotional for Edgar. Ten years ago, Edgar was in a serious car accident on I-85 near Greenville, S.C., that required first responders to extricate him from the vehicle.

“The first responders saved me,” said Edgar, who watched from inside the car as the first responders used the Jaws of Life to rescue him.

“You never know what direction your life is going to take,” said Edgar, who has been an assembler at HURST Jaws of Life’s manufacturing facility in Shelby, N.C., for over a year. “It’s an honor to help save someone else.”