Phoenix Rescue Tools                                                                                                         ...
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Phoenix Rescue Tools                                                                                                         ...

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Mike passed away November 20, 2012, at age 82 but his legacy lives on.
Phoenix Rescue Tool - Jamie Denzien


For those of you, who don't know Mike Brick, he was hired by George Hurst - Hurst Performance - in the early 1970's to develop a concept for a hydraulic rescue tool.  Mike Brick is widely known as the inventor of the famed rescue tool system and coined the phrase" Jaws of Life". 
Bobby Williams Left
Mike Brick - with his Jaws of Life Business CardMike Brick - with his Jaws of Life Business Card
Mike Brick - with his Jaws of LifeMike Brick - with his Jaws of Life

Mike worked  the original idea, and invented  the first portable hydraulic rescue tools. He ran the original rescue tool company for over 10 years, creating the market, and playing the key role in getting adopting safety standards worldwide, standards that are still in place today. 

Eventually the safety products division of Hurst Performance earned over 12 million dollars from the sale of the rescue tools. Then the first "gas" crisis hit.  Sales of high end car accessories & shifters were down.  Soon the company was on the sales block.  The new owners were eager to acquire the safety products division, but when Mike asked for his commissions on the sale of his invention, he was instantly fired.

Mike Brick founded PHOENIX RESCUE EQUIPMENT in 1982, on the principal that a hydraulic rescue tool should be capable of all the functions of hydraulic rescue, (push, pull, cut).  He literally re-invented the rescue tool system.

I got involved because of a family connection and it was through Mike Brick that I met my business partner Win VanBasten.  Eventually Win and I would form RAW rescue products, one of Mike's first Distributors.    The actual story is this.  Mike & company were at the Baltimore Fire Expo tradeshow.  I had heard his talk about the rescue tools and had helped around the factory a few times and so was familiar with the concepts behind the tools.    Mike had left the booth for a pee break and left me alone in the booth.   A rescue squad came into the booth and I sold them a Phoenix Rescue tool system on the spot.   Mike was impressed and a little annoyed because I had sold the set without a demo.    At the same time Win VanBasten was Mike's right hand man in the factory.  He was a draftsman with a background in engineering.   In those early days / years Win lived at the Brick house and received his salary in room and board.     After a while Win wanted a raise, but F.M. Brick Industries was pretty young and struggling to survive.   Mike suggested that Win and I get together and form the Rick and Win company to sell rescue tools.   Mike had just sold the state of Delaware 19 rescue tool sets.   He said that if we trained all 19 rescue squads, that he would give us the NJ, DE, MD, PA Territory and so we did, and he did.  That is how we got our start in business -  and through that company we came upon the Exit Traveler.

The original PHOENIX RESCUE TOOL had graphite arms, replaceable jaws and cutter blades, and weighed less than other tools while maintaining considerable cutting pulling and spreading power. This unique idea was patented, and has set PHOENIX apart from the rest of an ever growing group of hydraulic tool manufacturers.

The skyrocketing cost of graphite at the time lead to using aircraft quality anodized aluminum in the construction of the tool. This new method still falls under the protection of the patent.

Through the years, PHOENIX has continued to produce, new, innovative, user friendly equipment at a more rapid pace than any other hydraulic rescue tool manufacturer.  Mike achieved this by superior engineering, an open mind set, and an open ear to the end user. PHOENIX has a long list of firsts and bests, and we are proud to say that you had the most important part in this.

PHOENIX has the first patented rescue tool on the market, the widest opening, most powerful combination tools on the market, (stronger than just plain spreaders too), The only patented separate cutting device, (the C/C Cutter), the strongest cutter on the market, (the S/B Cutter), the only full set of telescoping rams on the market, the first diesel power unit, more power unit drive and hook up options than anyone else, the only true simultaneous operation power unit (two tools at once with no loss of speed or power, and no reduction in flow), and we've got about this much more stuff in development!

Rick Denzien - Rick Denzien - Helping To Build The Los Angeles CA order
The Phoenix T65/32 - Titanium Arms with a stainless steel body. Assembled at the plant in Horsham, PA

An early worker getting started on a large order for Los Angeles, CA

Phoenix Rescue Tool Tests & Certifications from the Franklin InstitutePhoenix Rescue Tool Tests & Certifications from the Franklin InstituteWin VanBasten - Phoenix Rescue Tool Tests & Certifications from the Franklin InstitutePhoenix Rescue Tool Tests & Certifications from the Franklin Institute Tests & Certifications from the Franklin Institute

Link To Franklin Institute

Phoenix Rescue Tool - Sold by Rick to the Sports Car Club of AmericaPhoenix Rescue Tool - Sold by Rick to the Sports Car Club of America
Phoenix Rescue Tool Saves Lives - Cherry Hill NJ
One of our sales to the Sports Car Club of America and a news article of a rescue with one of the tools we sold to Cherry Hill, NJ.

Phoenix 35-25 Tests

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