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Who’s behind the tools at HURST Jaws of Life®? It’s quality managers like Jeff Jasmin, a metallurgist, student, husband, dad and self-proclaimed glutton for punishment.

Born in New Jersey, Jeff’s family moved to Georgia when he was 10 years old. He attended Georgia Tech, where he found an interest in science, but he knew he wanted a little bit more.

“I’m solution oriented, and I discovered I liked seeing the finished product of my work,” he said.

He earned a degree in materials science and engineering, and his first job at global manufacturer Caterpillar, Inc. in Illinois, brought him to metallurgy –- being an engineer who specializes in metals such as steel, aluminum and iron, and how they work with each other.

Jeff spent nearly 10 years with Caterpillar in different metallurgy roles in engineering and quality. Promotions and new posts took him to Caterpillar’s manufacturing facilities in Georgia and then back to Illinois. He had his first exposure to the fire and rescue industry with United Technologies Company (UTC) Climate Controls and Security, moving back to the south just over two years ago for the role of senior quality engineer at UTC’s Lincolnton, N.C., Fire and Security Products manufacturing site. Jeff soon was promoted to quality manager, grooming himself for his future with HURST Jaws of Life.

When asked, “Why HURST?” his answer is quick and sincere.

“I like understanding how what I’m doing impacts the end user,” he said. “What can be more meaningful than the Jaws of Life?”

The company’s Shelby, N.C., facility is busy as Jeff looks out at the machine shop, where machinists are making parts for the rescue tools whose name is known worldwide for their ability to help first responders get to entrapped patients. Quality engineering in rescue tools is increasingly critical as automotive manufacturers build their cars with advanced high-strength steels to keep passengers safe; the team at HURST needs to make sure that their tools have the strength and power to help a firefighter, police officer or EMT get through that steel quickly.

Managing quality at work is mission critical. After hours, he helps manage three kids under the age of seven -– a mission in and of itself. And that’s all while his wife manages her own two small businesses -– as a doula helping women through pregnancy and new motherhood as well as a sleep coach for infants -– and Jeff pursues his MBA through Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

“I may be a glutton for punishment,” he laughs as he finishes listing the work and family activities that he and his wife juggle. But there’s really no complaint in his voice; you can tell he loves what he does. At home, and at work, Jeff brings quality to it all. #BehindTheTools