Fire poles, invented in the 1870s, are becoming a thing of the past. Why? Liability, of course! Already, Seattle has banned fire poles after a firefighter fell and suffered brain injuries last year, resulting in a lawsuit that was settled for $13 million. New fire stations are mostly single-story, contain multiple staircases, or, in some cases, slides. From Time:
While some new stations in the U.S. still include poles, the National Fire Protection Association aims to change that. "Fire departments are questioning the need for a fire pole and going with regular stairs," says Ken Willette, a retired fire chief in Massachusetts who now manages the association's public fire-protection division. "If there was a fire pole, we would want it enclosed so nobody stumbles into it in the middle of the night..."
"The pole is something we associated with as kids," says Scott Wolf, a partner at the architectural firm Miller Hull, which designed Seattle's Lake City station that opened in June and another station set to open in the Greenwood neighborhood in 2011. "But the pole has been one of the biggest sources of firefighter injury."
No matter the conduit, getting firefighters to the equipment as quickly and directly as possible remains critical. Susi Rosenthal, an assistant fire chief in Seattle who oversees the city's facilities, says poles have always been a personal decision anyway. "I always prefer stairs," the 30-year veteran says. "As long as you get there at the same time, it doesn't matter. In my experience, the younger you are, the more likely you are to slide a pole."
"Sorry, Kids. Fire Stations Are Ditching Fire Poles
(photo: "firepole at Eugene, Oregon firestation #1 open house" by drcorneilus)
Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that “companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app.” When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton:
This is NASA’s new “space fabric” in development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Founded in 1970 as Xerox’s R&D division, PARC was a dream factory that brought the world laser printing, Ethernet, the graphical user interface that led to Windows and the Macintosh, ubiquitous computing, and many other technologies that we now take for granted. Why made the place so damn special? Alan Kay, who pioneered networked computing […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]
Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]