The Jaws of Life, a hydraulic apparatus used to pry apart the wreckage of crashed vehicles in order to free people trapped inside, and some miscellaneous equipment disappeared during the night of March 2-3 from a Tulare County fire truck used for rescue and extrications. It’s normally parked in Tulare for duty on Highway 99, but on this occasion was parked in front of the Lemon Cove Fire Station.
It was there only for a few days while it was being used for training exercises. The firefighter on duty inside the station never heard a thing when a suspect(s) forced entry into the part of the truck storing equipment. The loss is estimated at $18,000.
“It’s especially tragic because the department works so hard to raise money to buy this rescue equipment,” said Captain Tyson Lewis from the Springville station who was in the area last week for training exercises at Lake Kaweah. “In the event of a serious accident, the fact that the equipment is not there with first responders could mean the difference between life and death.”
Anyone who has information in the case is encouraged to call the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office at 733-6218 or send anonymous information via text or email (725-4194; TCSO@tipnow.com); refer to case 16-02810.