Our History


The POWER HAWK® P-16 Rescue System… an innovation born from a history that has a direct lineage back to man’s historic first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903 to the latest stealth fighter technology!



The pioneering and innovative spirit of Orville and Wilbur Wright and Glenn H. Curtiss came together in 1929 to form the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, who went on to become one of the largest aircraft and engine manufacturing companies in the world. Curtiss-Wright pioneered concepts in aircraft technology which gave the United States air combat superiority during WWII, including the famous P-40 War Hawk fighter and the Cyclone radial engine used to power the B-17 Flying Fortress.


In the decades that followed, Curtiss-Wright transformed some its core propeller gear and motor technologies into high-force, light-weight actuation systems used to move various components on aircraft such as the F-22, F-16, F-18, F-14, Space Shuttle, V-22, Black Hawk, Sea Hawk, C-5, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, L1011 and others.

These flight actuation systems include leading-edge and trailing-edge flaps, landing gear, canopy actuators, cargo doors, weapons bay doors, trim servos and more, many of which utilize Curtiss-Wright’s revolutionary “Power Hinge®” gear technology.

It was in the early 1990’s that one of Curtiss-Wright Flight Systems’ employees from its Fairfield New Jersey Facility – William R. Hickerson, also a volunteer firefighter, invented the idea to utilize the Curtiss Wright Power Hinge to create a portable battery-powered “Jaws-type” rescue tool that eliminated hydraulics completely.

By doing this, the problems and hazards associated with the hydraulic rescue tools that Bill was familiar with would be eliminated (such as the heaviness of existing tools, high-pressure hydraulic lines susceptible to leaks and rupturing, gasoline engine fuels and fumes, loud noise levels, and special stowage requirements). After research and validation, Curtiss-Wright decided to invest into transforming its Power Hinge gear technology once again… this time to help firefighters save lives.

In 1994, utilizing the same gears that drive the leading edge flaps on the F-16 Fighting Falcon and 12 Volts DC power, the Power Hawk P-16 Rescue System was introduced for the first time at the FDIC Show in Cincinnati, Ohio!




Since its introduction, the Power Hawk Rescue System continues to save lives around the world, offering unique features and capabilities that go well beyond traditional hydraulic rescue tools.

The Power Hawk product line continues to expand, adding more and more versatility for getting jobs done. At the turn of the new millennium, the Team of employees who invented, developed, and operated the Power Hawk business segment at Curtiss-Wright took advantage of a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to bring their passion and commitment to the business to an even higher level.


In March of 2004, the Team purchased the Power Hawk business segment from Curtiss-Wright (which also included the SWENCH line of manual impact wrenches) through a successful management buyout, creating the new 100% employee-owned company called Power Hawk Technologies Inc. (PHT).

In 2006, PHT introduced the AUTO CRIB-IT, a new automatic vehicle stabilization tool for auto-extrication. The AUTO CRIB-IT was invented by Bill Hickerson as a solution to the problem of bulky and heavy stepchocks that are currently being used by rescuers. The AUTO CRIB-IT was voted the No. 1 HOT PRODUCT for 2007 by JEMS during the EMS Today Expo in Baltimore.

Located in northern New Jersey, PHT owns the patents and trademarks for and is the manufacturer of the Power Hawk® P-16 Rescue SystemPower Pusher® RamsAuto Crib-It™ Stabilization Tool and SWENCH® line of Manual Impact Wrenches.

Curtiss-Wright Flight Systems continues to be a major supporter and business partner, providing PHT with the Power Hinge gears that are the ‘muscle’ behind the Power Hawk’s enormous strength. Power Hawk Technologies’ commitment to providing solutions to its customers with innovative and high-quality products, and outstanding customer support has never been stronger.

For more information on Curtiss-Wright history, visit www.curtisswright.com.


Historical events



SEPTEMBER 2001 – A Tribute to a Fallen Hero, and a Good Friend...

SEPTEMBER 2001 – Supporting the Call to Duty.

A personal account of Curtiss-Wright Power Hawk's Rescue Assistance Operation at The World Trade Center and The Pentagon…

SEPTEMBER 2001 – Curtiss-Wright Donates Power Hawk Rescue Systems to Help Save Lives at The World Trade Center and The Pentagon…