THE ‘JAWS OF LIFE’ NOW IN OPERATION

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In the December edition of Hua Hin & Cha-Am Today we reported on the Cha-Am Highway Police Rescue.  As we described, this is a volunteer organisation (not the Police) which undertakes emergency services in accidents or other situations where life or limb may be at risk.  Needless to say road crashes feature at the top of the list of emergencies.

Our report highlighted the need for sponsorship.  At the time a priority identified by the coordinator of the Cha-Am Region, Mr Somyot or Khun Gie, was for the acquisition of the ‘Jaws of Life’.   These  are specialised hydraulic rescue tools primarily used to assist extricate crash victims trapped in motor vehicles, as well as other rescues from small spaces. The tools include cutters, spreaders, door busters and rams.

The good news is that a complete set of these tools is now in the hands of the Cha-Am Police Rescue.  Khun Gie is an enterprising individual and learnt of an auction in Petchaburi which included a rather unusual item, a fire engine.   However he also found out that with the fire engine came a full set of the rescue equipment manufactured by the leading German manufacturer LUKAS. After some negotiation with the auctioneers he managed to convince them that the tools could be separated from the fire engine and then became the successful bidder.

Funding for this purchase was obtained from three individual sponsors.  One of the sponsors was a Cha-Am building company which wishes to remain anonymous, one was a personal donation from Khun Prai (the Petchaburi Provincial Administrative Officer) and the third generous sponsor was Khun Gie himself.

Each sponsor donated a sum of 10,000 THB and at 30,000 THB this would be regarded as a great deal.  A new set would be priced in the vicinity of 4000,000 THB.  Khun Gie added that his wife doesn’t know about his donation, she already thinks he spends too much time working for the organisation.  If you know her please keep it quiet!

Since the acquisition, about a month before we visited the offices of the Cha-Am Highway Police Rescue, the equipment had already been used twice.  The last emergency was in the early hours of the morning of our visit.  On this occasion a truck driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and the vehicle had left the road.  The problem was that the steering wheel had been forced forward, trapping the driver in the vehicle.  The power of the ‘spreader’ came into play allowing a speedy release of the injured man.

This is a real ‘good news’ story for the local community.  Our thanks to both the sponsors and for the proactive approach of the organisation in solving this problem.  However more sponsorship is still required.  Although the ‘jaws of life’ are in working order, Khun Gie is eager to replace the hydraulic hoses which are at the end of their working life.   However they are quite specialised and about 20,000 THB will be needed.

There is a need for the community to recognise this essential service.  If you or your Company can lend a hand, the Highway Rescue Police would welcome your assistance.

After all, we can’t expect Khun Gie to put his marriage in further jeopardy with any more money coming from his family funds!

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