[satire]News from The Nanotechnology Valley: Fire Departments Are Going Robotic

Central New York’s newest firefighter.

ALBANY, NY — Fire departments in central New York, the nanotechnology capital of the world, are proposing a radical change to how standard firefighting operations are conducted. In the face of growing concerns over the unknown health risks in the booming industry of nanotechnology, fire departments are phasing out all human firefighting operations by going robotic.

Nanoparticles vary in shape and chemical composition

What nanotechnology does is to change the composition of materials at the molecular level, making materials such as steel, concrete, and plastics stronger and lighter than materials manufactured with unaltered molecules. These new materials are already commonly found in automobile parts, sporting goods, and electronics. What is not well understood, however, is what happens to these nano-sized particles under combustion. It is feared that through inhalation or absorption, nanomaterials will penetrate deeply into vital organs and cause chronic health problems and death due to their microscopic size and irregular shape. The fact that the pace of nanotechnology development is far exceeding the health and safety research of the product leaves the fire service gravely concerned.

Innovators in Robotic Fire Suppression Technology

In response to the potential hazards, fire departments in what’s being called The Nanotechnology Valley have determined that enough is enough and that they can no longer put firefighters at risk. Research and development personnel have been canvassing robotics conferences as well as university IT departments for innovations in the field of fire suppression technology. They have been impressed with the diversity of technology available and have decided that going forward firefighting operations will be conducted exclusively through the use of firefighting drones, sonic technology, firefighting grenades, and firefighting robots otherwise known as firebots.

Using sound technology to fight fires
Neo-Luddite propoganda

The move to go robotic is being met with great resistance by firefighters who argue that machines will never be able to replace the lifesaving efforts of a human firefighter. Union officials are fighting the move by claiming that it is management’s attempt to eliminate the costs and benefits associated with the labor workforce. Others, spurred by the technophobic neo-Luddites, are calling the action an indication of the start of the robot invasion and fear an eventual robot uprising.

The counterpoint is that going robotic will save the lives of countless firefighters by preventing exposures to hazardous materials. The other unintended benefit of going robotic is that it frees firefighters up for other tasks including fire education and inspection duties, rescuing cats out of trees, posing for calendars, and sharing Hot Fireman Dips and Safety Tips as seen below:


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