With its bright-yellow armored body, grippy tank-like treads, plow nose and water cannon, the Los Angeles Fire Department’s latest piece of equipment looks more like a Star Wars sidekick than a firefighting assistant.
But this mini robot tanker is an inferno buster that packs a powerful punch of water or foam and can go where firefighters otherwise can’t. The LAFD on Tuesday became the first fire department in the nation to acquire the Robotics Systems 3, a droid on steroids.
LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said firefighters put their lives on the line when battling blazes. This year, 11 LAFD crew members were severely injured when a fireball engulfed four downtown buildings after a massive explosion that was ignited by hazardous materials.
Now, firefighters can use RS3 as a safer alternative in battling potentially explosive blazes and it allows the department to get inside a burning building when humans could not dare enter safely.
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