Brandon Fire to purchase E-tools

By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
Staff Writer
Brandon Twp. —During the regular Monday night meeting, the Brandon Township board of trustees approved the purchase of Electric Extrication Rescue Tools, also known as E-tools for the Brandon Fire Department.
“This is something we’ve been discussing for about three years,” said Brandon Fire Chief Dave Kwapis. “Part of the problem is our current tools that we have, hydraulic cutters and spreaders, just don’t have the strength for what the new vehicles are coming out with. Not to mention that the motor is very loud, the tools are very bulky, and you’re connected to a tether line.”
The cost for the tools is in the budget for 2023 for the fire department, and could cost $81,051.22 for two full sets of tools and a combi-tool set.
“With E-Tools, they’ve been on the market now for a little over 5 years, a lot of changes have been made to them and I think we’re at the point now where I feel confident that we can purchase into that and be able to get a similar life out of them as what we have now by just buying the batteries occasionally as they wear out,” said Kwapis. “Our crews looked at three different systems, we’ve had a few different times where they would bring the extrication equipment out, we tore up cars, the crews every time came back with they really like the Genesis. Not only did they really like the Genesis, but they liked the ergonomics of the genesis, they liked how the tool handled, the batteries are batteries I can go buy at Lowes or Home Depot, so they really like that aspect.”
The purchase includes two full sets, and each set includes a cutter, a spreader, and a ram. The combi-tool set is used to breach doors.
“Cutters are what we use to cut if we have to cut an A post or a B post, that’s the post that comes down by the windshield or the post that’s behind the door, so if we have to remove a roof, that’s what that is for,” said Kwapis. “The spreader is to pop the doors, and then the ram is to push the steering wheel, the dash, away from somebody if it rolls on top of them or lands on top of them. The combi-tool is for us to put on our command vehicle and we can use that to breach doors, both residential and commercial.”
The purchase will be brought to the Ortonville village council next for approval.

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