HURST Jaws of Life® enhances operations with new equipment for North Carolina manufacturing facility

SHELBY, N.C. — HURST Jaws of Life® rescue tools are designed to be unstoppable, and an investment in new equipment at its North Carolina manufacturing facility is helping the industry-leading manufacturer of rescue tools increase productivity and maintain the performance standards needed against today’s high-strength steels. 

“We’re committed to bringing first responders rescue tools that are innovative, strong, fast and reliable,” said Christopher Jaques, general manager, HURST Jaws of Life in Shelby, N.C. “Our new state-of-the-art equipment enhances our production process so we can get tools to our customers quickly. Equally important is the assurance this new equipment brings that our tools will continue to offer the exceptional performance and quality the industry has come to expect from HURST Jaws of Life.”

HURST’s registered Jaws of Life name is recognized worldwide for its ability to cut, bend and pull steel to allow first responders access to patients during accidents and emergencies.  The company’s new Mazak machine is bringing increased speed to the manufacturing of the parts such as pivot bars, pistons and links that move the arms and blades of these rescue tools. The machine’s programmable memory has capacity for specs of dozens of components, ensuring HURST’s machinists can efficiently and easily make parts for a full line of Jaws of Life cutters, spreaders and combination tools.

“Our tool parts today are very intricate, and this machine has new technology and improved memory, speed and horsepower to increase plant productivity,” said HURST Jaws of Life Plant Manager Nicki Vaca.

The company also added a new optical comparator machine to its quality control process. The machine uses scanning technology to compare the parts that have been machined in HURST Jaws of Life’s manufacturing facility to engineer drawings, ensuring accuracy in parts making.  

“This new machine provides an extra step in quality control, allowing us to make sure everything meets set specifications,” Vaca said. “When you’re making rescue tools, there’s no room for anything less than excellence.”

The machines were installed earlier this year and are being used for the manufacture of HURST’s newest eDRAULIC battery-powered rescue tools, including its SP777 E2, as well as its legendary 5,000- and 10,000-PSI hose line tools.

For more information about HURST Jaws of Life, visit

About Hurst Jaws of Life
Hurst is the only manufacturer of the Jaws of Life® brand. There is no equal to saving lives. The company’s commitment to research and development and dedication to quality engineering and manufacturing, has resulted in a line of innovative products known for outstanding safety, durability and performance. Hurst Jaws of Life, Inc., is a unit of IDEX Corporation, an applied solutions company. For more information about Hurst Jaws of Life, please visit

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