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Jaws of Life

Members of a Virginia volunteer fire department were so proud of their expensive new Hurst tool (known as the "Jaws of Life?) that they held a special demonstration last October to show how it could cut into an automobile and rescue people trapped inside. As an appreciative crowd looked on, two fire-fighters quickly ripped a door from a 1966 Buick. They pulled its steering wheel through the windshield and knocked out all the windows.

At that point, a voice cried out, "Hey, what have you done to my car"'

"The man was livid,? reported one onlooker.

He had good reason to be upset. The firefighters, in the enthusiasm, had cut up the wrong car. Their president promised that the department would pay the owner for the loss of his car. "It was just a mistake,? the chief kept saying, "just a mistake.?

Ronald D. White in Washington Post, Reader's Digest, March, 1980