Dubai to use jetpacks to fight fires

Buck Rogers lives! In order to better fight fires among its many high skyscrapers, Dubai officials have purchased 20 jetpacks for use by its firefighters.

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.

Though it sounds cool, remotely controlled drones would make more sense for most of these tasks. The jetpacks might be useful for getting crews in and out of difficult high locations, as well as possibly rescuing trapped victims, but to make this practical will require significant training, something that I don’t see as realistic.