WEIRTON Weirton Mayor George J. Kondik and Fire Chief Jerry Shumate gathered with representatives from ArcelorMittal Weirton and the United Steelworkers Local 2911 to demonstrate the use of a new hydraulic rescue tool this week.
The local fire department's purchase of the Holmatro Combi-Tool and a three-stage pump was made possible through a nationwide grant program from ArcelorMittal to support fire departments located in communities where the steelmaker operates. The new spreader and cutter tool is twice as strong as the 20-year old tool it replaces, cutting and prying through metal with two times the force and at a much more efficient speed.
"In an effort to provide optimal safety to both the driver and passengers, today's vehicles are constructed with advanced steel grades," explained Shumate. "In severe crashes, an extraction - or disentangle exercise - is often required to remove passengers from a vehicle due to crumple zones designed to minimize intrusion to passengers.
"We are so appreciative of ArcelorMittal's support of this tool, which will allow us to efficiently and effectively respond to severe crash scenarios," added Shumate.
The partnership underscores ArcelorMittal's commitment to ensuring the health and safety of its employees and community members and aligns with the company's role in providing automakers with advanced steel solutions that achieve the optimal balance of safety, weight, cost and performance for today's vehicle.
"Above all else, the health and safety of our employees, contractors and the communities in which we operate is our number one priority," said Brian James, plant manager, ArcelorMittal Weirton. "This grant supports our health and safety focus, and also aligns with our company's franchise business, automotive. Here in Weirton, we make tin plated steel and cold-rolled sheet steel for the distribution and packaging markets, yet ArcelorMittal is a leading steel supplier to automakers throughout the world, with about 17 percent of the world's automotive market."
ArcelorMittal provided more than $150,000 to 21 fire departments in U.S. communities where it has operations to upgrade hydraulic rescue equipment.