The Fire Pole: Safety Hazard or Just Misunderstood?

Moe, Larry and CurlyA comedy staple in both movies and real life may be going out of style.

In it’s daily This Day In Tech feature, wired.com tells the story of the fire pole, which was first used 130 years ago today:

 

Firefighters at Engine Company 21 were unloading hay for the horses that pulled their fire engines. When the bell rang, firefighter George Reid was up in the hayloft on the third floor. The long binding pole that was used to secure the hay to the wagon had been stashed vertically up the loading area to the hayloft. Rather than run all the way down two flights of stairs, Reid decided to slide down the pole. Swift thinking, George.

However, because of safety concerns, fire poles are a dying breed:

Nowadays, the poles are sometimes considered safety hazards, and new firehouses are often built without them. Single-story firehouses are preferred.

It will be a sad day when the fire pole becomes extinct.  At least we can always go back to the works of the Three Stooges or Ghostbusters to see them in their prime.