First Arriving Network
Powered by the First Arriving Network, Reaching 1M+ First Responders Worldwide

Raw video: Interior attack without SCBA or PPE & no rehab needed. The future of firefighting?

Do you want to sell a rig? Click HERE to find out how with

Ron Wilkins,

Purdue’s firefighting robot rolled into Wednesday’s fire at the Hoopeston, Ill., tire shredding factory with something to prove. When it limped out four hours later, it was broken, but it made its mark.

“We were able to deploy this and put it approximately 150 to 175 feet into a partial collapsed warehouse facility,” Purdue Fire Chief Kevin Ply said Thursday morning as the department showed off the battle-tested machine. “From that location, we were able to apply water on some of the plant that was not accessible from other means.

“It did have an impact.”

The relatively small, 400-pound, orange robot travels on thick rubber treads and takes its marching orders from a remote control panel worn by the operator.

David Delong, WFLI-TV:

“Some of the firefighters, both volunteer and career, from the many fire departments that were there, were a little skeptical,” Ply said. “But, once we were able to deploy it inside the structure, they were able to see it in operation and the impact it was making on the fire, it was very impressive.”

Ply, along with two other Purdue firefighters, took their prototype firefighting robot to help fight the fire.

“We were able to deploy it in an area that had fire involvement, to the point where we had partial building collapse,” Ply said. “It was an area we were not going to put a human firefighter in, due to the risk of injury.”

Professor in Purdue’s College of Technology Eric Dietz is helping develop the robot for a Korean company. He says the use the fire department was able to get out of it was invaluable.

Click here to follow on Facebook (hit “like”)

Comments - Add Yours

  • Andrew

    There’s a company here in Maine that is already selling a similar robot:

    Here is what ME Public Broadcasting said about them:

  • Puzzled


    An EO and a robot, no need for firefighters, ;o

  • Chief Dill

    I’m sorry but there will always be a need for FireFighters “Puzzled says”. The Robot is only a tool. Come on Fire Service, get over it, we need new tools to help us do our jobs better. I know change is hard but all of these new tools will make that change easier. I’m all for it. Bring on the new stuff.

  • Fire21

    Too cool!! Chief Dill is right, there will always be a need for direct human contact with the firefight, but when these things become more common, they definitely will save lives.

  • EngineBoss

    How many EMS runs in a 24 can that thing do?

  • EastCoastLt.

    I’m sure the left coast will find great use for this POS. I’m all set with firefighting robots out my way.

  • SFD

    Looks like a good tool for getting in close and keeping firefighters in the safe zone.

  • Puzzled

    Let’s see now. No overtime pay, check. No holiday or sick time, check. No retirement, check. No uniforms, check. Doesn’t need SCBA. Long term cost savings.

  • Tiny

    Greatest OUTSTANDING FIREMEN tool EVER invented… Yard Breathers all across America are sucking down 60 minute bottles at record rates their so excited about this New “Tool”… LMAO

  • John

    Does it climb stairs? Maneuver around furniture? Sound the floor?

    Very limited application as is, keep working on it.

  • Anonymous

    Japan has had fire robots for the last decade.

    They actually have a ton of advanced firefighting technology that isn’t limited by silly traditions and blocked by union workers.

  • Steve in NJ

    Sell them in Wildwood in September. New Jersey volunteers are always willing to spend tons of money on the latest outrageously expensive nonsensical gadget, gizmo or what ever it takes to win a trophy at the next wetdown. But, they must come equipped with chrome wheels and gold leaf paint.

  • Holy Crap

    Anonymous is a vollie! Silly traditions…let me guess, you have to wear a metro helmet at work and respond from home….get a life!

    • Fire21

      Remember when motorized apparatus came along? The old horse masters couldn’t envision a world without horse-drawn steamers. Remember when SCBAs were new? The leather lungs didn’t need it, they could work in poison atmospheres. Remember when thermal cameras were new? The old die-hards figured it’d replace the search and rescue, and would reduce manpower. Well, here’s another “new” (to America) idea that some support and some diss.

      Thankfully, researchers are constantly inventing new ways for us to do our job more safely. A lot of the past innovations have come about despite “silly traditions” being resisted by both vollies and career. Long live the inventors!!!…They’re saving our lives!!

  • ukfbbuff

    Robotic fire equipment such as in the Purue video are not new.

    I think back, some 30 years ago a similar device was developed by General Dynamic’s. But I never really saw any advertisements for these in the general fire service publications.

    Still, good idea for extend fire ground operations, if you’re going to use a master stream device.

    But…What no TIC device/remote camera?

  • just sayin

    Silly traditions? … we used to call that bravery … I’m just sayin