Technology is always improving throughout all professions, from doctors to athletes and from teachers to pilots. The human race is constantly making advancements and that also applies to firefighting. From the early days of firefighting back in ancient Rome until today, firefighting technology has always been moving forward, as the profession is unsafe, and any technology that can make it even a little safer is worth the investment. From jetpacks to smart masks and from drones to exoskeletons, firefighting tech has skyrocketed over the last several years. Here are some of those amazing advancements which we will be seeing in the coming years.
Yes, jet packs. Back in November of 2015, the United Arab Emirates signed a contract to purchase 20 jet packs and 2 training simulators to be used by firefighters in a first-responder role. With Dubai’s numerous tall buildings it’s no wonder they signed this deal. They plan on modifying them with thermal imaging cameras as well. These jetpacks can fly up to 3000 feet in the air at speeds of up to 74 kilometers per hour. The current estimation of the cost per unit? $150,000.
It’s about time the smoke masks that firefighters use when walking into burning buildings got an upgrade. A firefighter mask with thermal imaging built into it is being developed by Scott Safety, a firefighting equipment manufacturer. As these masks are used so often by firefighters, the impact felt by them being introduced to the profession should be immediate and significant.
As drones are becoming more and more popular, especially for private citizens, it makes sense that someone thought to use them to help mitigate loss of life during wildfires. Researchers in Nebraska are developing drones that start small controlled grass fires in order to prevent large ones from breaking out. There is a fear, however, of these drones replacing actual firefighters.
With superheroes being so popular nowadays, it was only a matter of time until some of the tech in their movies became actualized in real life. The average weight a firefighter carries on his or her back is around 50 pounds, but can even reach 125 pounds for certain situations. Think about how difficult it must make it for them to do their job while carrying so much weight. This is where the AFA Powered Exoskeleton comes in. It supplements muscle performance and helps the firefighters carry all of that extra weight, minus impeding the firefighter’s movements. Something like an Iron Man suit for firefighters. It can help them carry about 200 pounds and is designed to fit over the top of the their gear.
As the world’s technology becomes more and more like a sci-fi movie, firefighters are definitely benefitting. Hopefully when all of this becomes available and is widespread, firefighters getting hurt or killed on the job will be a thing of the past.