Detroit's Under-Funded Fire Departments Use A Soft Drink Can For A Fire Alarm

Where absent money leaves gaps, ingenuity fills in. Nowhere is that more true than in Detroit’s fire departments, where, as Detroit Free Press reporter Tresa Baldas shows us, a soft drink can full of jangling coins and screws alerts the Motor City’s long-suffering heroes when there’s an emergency.

The Rise And Fall Of The Fireman's Pole

Imagine this: it’s 3:30 in the morning, and you’re deep in some pillowy dreamscape. All is calm; all is serene. Then, a piercing alarm whiplashes your senses: you’re awake now, scrambling in the darkness with ten equally frazzled men. In a flurry, boots are pulled on, helmets are snatched off shelves, and you’re flying down a 20-foot pole with the rapidity and dexterity of a howler monkey.

Australian Scientists Test Explosives To Put Out Bushfires

Picture this: a drought-fuelled wildfire is heading for a Victorian township, and fast. Millions of lives are at stake, and water can’t stop it. When suddenly, a helicopter — armed with what can only be described as a giant cannon — flies straight for flames and BOOM. There’s an explosion, and the fire’s gone. That’s what Australian scientists are working on right now: fighting fires with explosives.

This Firefighter Is Writing Google Glass Apps To Help Save Lives

Google Glass sure has its fair share of dumb applications, but some projects mercifully seem to balance them out. Like the apps put together by Patrick Jackson, a firefighter who’s writing code to help rescue teams save time — and lives.

Google Glass For Police Brings Us Closer To A RoboCop Reality

OK, Glass, you can hear the cop now. Take a picture of that licence plate. Try: OK, Glass. Record a video of this five alarm fire. Or even: OK, Glass. Search: gunshot wound treatment. It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that Google Glass could be a valuable tool for first responders. And now the first app has popped up that could make it a reality.

There's A Fire-Fighting Mini-Segway That Might Save Your Life Someday

Firefighters are brave. But they’re humans, and they get hurt. So scientists at the University of California at San Diego have created a Segway-like robot that uses thermal imaging to help people fight fires better.

This Is What Happens When You Fight Fires In -17C Weather

Firefighting is an extremely dangerous job on par with helicopter linemen and pizza delivery boys. But when fighting a Chicago-area warehouse inferno earlier today, crews had to endure both fire and ice caused temperatures hovering just above -17C.

Aussie Firefighters Take Smart-Pills That Reports Back Data About Their Guts

Firefighters run into flaming buildings for a living, It’s not exactly what you might call a safe job. And while they can tell generally how they’re doing by noting whether or not they are on fire at any given time, there’s a lot more nuance to keeping track of other aspects of their health. That’s where data delivery pills come in.

How The Fire Fight For Australia's Greatest Observatory Was Won

High-atop a mountain, overlooking a picturesque valley in the Warrambungle National Park, sits one of Australia’s most precious scientific installations: the Siding Spring Observatory. Home to 11 of the world’s most powerful sky-mapping telescopes, Siding Spring this week came under threat from a fire storm so intense that it struck fear into the hearts of senior firefighters. Flames kissed the doorstep of the observatory and the smoke could be seen from space as the dedicated staff watched helplessly from webcams still broadcasting the dramatic events. This is how the fire fight of Siding Spring was fought and won.

This Insane Helmet Cam Video Shows What It's Like To Be A Firefighter

If you ever want to re-live your childhood dream of being a firefighter, watch the video up above. The helmet cam footage comes from Scott Ziegler, a firefighter in Michigan, and shows a year’s worth of fires from 2012. It’s freaking intense.