Tagged With firefighters


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.


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.


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.


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.


More and more furniture today is made using plastic-based materials, which burns much faster than the interior decor of yore, sucking all the oxygen out of a room at a faster clip and making it harder to evacuate people. It's a serious problem that's making firefighters reconsider how they put fires out.


Helmet cameras have a tendency to capture inherently cool stuff. You're probably wearing the helmet for a reason, after all. But firefighter helmet cams are especially incredible because they aren't just some staged event, but a real situation with real people putting themselves in actual danger.