Why?—a simple question firefighters should be asking more.
Why don’t we have more cost effective access to technology? From the time the first firefighter entered a burning building, visibility—seeing through smoke—has been an issue. Bulky hand held infrared cameras became the so-called solution. Heavy, costly, and typically limited in quantity, they gave one or two guys the clear knowledge of what’s around them while everyone else continues to do it the old fashioned way—blind. Why doesn’t every SCBA face piece have a head’s up display with an infrared picture?
We’ve known for around two hundred years that sprinklers are our best friend in controlling fires and yet they aren’t required in new construction in some states. One state—Pennsylvania—actually repealed their mandatory sprinkler law after a rabid lobbying campaign by the building construction boys. Why?
We continue to open roofs manually that we’ve reached with aerial ladders or platforms. How come there isn’t an automated device attached to the end of the stick that can quickly and safely open the roof, controlled by an operator on the ground or ladder. Why?
How come we train our people in artificial environments that bear about as much relation to real burning buildings as Congress does to a deliberative body? Ooops, I forgot. We used to train in real environments but can’t anymore. Nevermind.
Finally, do you, like me, wonder why the simple practice of painting a piece of equipment, that is used in hundreds of industries, the color red and putting the word “fire” in it’s name automatically increases the price three fold. Why?