Local Heart, Global Soul

January 4, 2013

Pincers to the Rescue: a Coconut Crab Would be Proud…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our family day out in Schoonhoven has taken an unexpected detour as we discover that today is also “Open Monumentendag” (Open Monument Day) when Little Mr. found a local Fire Station giving displays and information.

We arrive just in time to see a crash dummy in a car that’s been in a car  “accident” and a demonstration of how the fire service use their tools and training to cut the car open to extract the “victim”.

It’s amazing to see that sometimes a low tech solution is the best one as a firewoman sticks what looks like a wide roll of heavy duty sellotape onto one of the car windows, after pressing it to the glass she then smashes the glass with a special mallet and hey presto, lifts off all the broken pieces of glass (still in the shape of the window) stuck to the tape for clean, easy and swift disposal.

On the other side of the car a fireman is in the back seat keeping the head and spine of the “victim” stable whilst colleagues use massive hydraulic snipper claws (yes thére’s probably do have an official name for them but I have no clue what it might be) to first remove both the doors from the car body and then chop through the pillars between the front and rear seat section of the car.

There’s a dull thud as the hydraulic claw crunches through the metal… children, definitely not a hands-on toy for you to play with, as it would make rather literal short work of fingers or limbs. The spinal board is levered expertly into the back of the car and I’m surprised to see that once al hands are on deck that getting the “victim” out is a smooth operation that only takes a few minutes.

Mission accomplished, the “victim” is stretchered away for “treatment” and we turn out attention to the “claws” used to extract him…

Humans regularly steal brilliant ideas from nature and Tasmanian King or Coconut Crabs may be two of the biggest crab species in the world, but I dare say they would be very jealous of the pinching power of these man-made claws…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

11 Comments »

  1. In the US they call a tool like that the “Jaws of Life”.

    Comment by Carrie — January 4, 2013 @ 2:53 am | Reply

    • Same in the UK.

      Comment by Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife — January 4, 2013 @ 9:35 am | Reply

      • Tilly,
        There are certain words and phrases I only hear in Dutch so I thought there must surely be an English word or phrase for this but for the life of me couldn’t think of what it was. Thanks for the memory jog!

        Comment by kiwidutch — January 6, 2013 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

    • Carrie,
      Now that you reminded me I realise I recognise the phrase but had forgotten what it was in English, yes I think they call it that in New Zealand too. Thanks!!!

      Comment by kiwidutch — January 6, 2013 @ 10:49 pm | Reply

  2. Those firemen are doing great job through practice. Your post is great photo report!

    Comment by Sartenada — January 4, 2013 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Matti,
      When we first turned up (dragged in by Little Mr.) I thought it would be boring but it turned out to be one of the highlights of the day and I thoroughly enjoyed everything I saw! Amazingly Himself and Kiwi Daughter thought the same too!

      Comment by kiwidutch — January 6, 2013 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

  3. Yes, in the States we call them “the jaws of life” because they save the lives of people they remove from crushed cars.

    Comment by mairedubhtx — January 4, 2013 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

    • Ah yes, it’s a phrase I don’t hear very often in English so I’d forgotten what it was, Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

      Comment by kiwidutch — January 6, 2013 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  4. Hmmm…*glances around badly overgrown yard*…I could really do some pruning with those…

    Comment by Luddy's Lens — January 4, 2013 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

    • Luddy, I don’t have a garden here in The Netherlands but I’m sooooo with you, these would make short work of your tree branch lopping!

      Comment by kiwidutch — January 6, 2013 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

  5. […] summers ago at a similar Open Day in the town of Schoonhoven , written about in my post: “Pincers to the Rescue: a Coconut Crab Would be Proud“… but the two little neighbourhood friends who have joined us, it is a first time […]

    Pingback by Literally Cutting Edge Technology… | Local Heart, Global Soul — November 16, 2015 @ 1:01 am | Reply


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