Stephenville fire and EMS crews are taking part in training exercises that will prepare them to use the department’s new hydraulic rescue tools - commonly referred to as Jaws of Life.

Stephenville Fire Chief Jimmy Chew said the department received the equipment early this week. The department purchased two sets - one for each fire station - at a total cost of $34,000. Chew said the tools are primarily used to rescue victims trapped in automobile accidents, but can also be used in other instances when lifting, prying and cutting is needed.

Chew said the department received its first Jaws of Life about 30 years ago.

“We are still using some of the original equipment, but most of it is outdated,” Chew said. “The technology has changed - the new equipment is lighter and more powerful.”

The crews are scheduled to complete their training today at the department’s training field.