Fires in high-rise buildings can be very problematic. It can be difficult to move around the building, to quickly get equipment to where it needs to be and even to communicate with people inside. Dubai, a place with lots of towering constructions, plans to tackle this by giving Jetpacks to its firefighters.
The country's Directorate of Civil Defence has signed a memorandum of understanding with Martin Aircraft Company for the planned initial delivery of up to 20 Jetpacks and two training simulators. The proposed deal will also include initial training services and operational support.
Martin Jetpacks have been developed with first responder use in mind. They can be flown by a pilot or via remote control, take off and land vertically, operate in confined spaces (such as close to or between buildings or near trees) and carry commercial payloads of up to 120 kg (265 lb).
This functionality means the Jetpacks can provide a variety of first response services. For example, they can be used for surveillance or observation (such as to determine the focus of a fire), transporting equipment to where it is required, rescuing individuals or deploying specialist teams.
The agreement was signed earlier this week at the Dubai Air Show.