Helping Firefighters To Help Others

Firefighters have a great variety of specialized equipment at their disposal beyond the usual hoses and ladders associated with firefighting.

In the case of rescue, firefighters need the tools to quickly take charge of a fire victim and move them from harms way. This often entails breaking in to a fire area using axes and pikes; transporting the injured party to safety on a stretcher or in a wire basket.

We’ve all seen films of people who were able to jump from upper floor windows on to “life nets” held by a ring of firefighters below. Luckily, with the advent of hydraulic ladder trucks, these are seldom used today.


The Browder Safety Net (named for its inventor Thomas F Browder) is a type of rescue equipment formerly used by firefighters.  It was invented in 1887 and allowed people to jump to safety from upper floors of burning buildings. The net was used with varying degrees of success throughout fires in the 20th century.

The invention of 100 foot aerial fire trucks made it obsolete by the 1980’s.

(information from, “Fires and Fire Services” The Encyclopedia of New Zealand and