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Brad's Beat: Sliding Down History
By Brad Douglas
JOPLIN, MO.--- The new fire station on the south side of Joplin required firefighters to undergo some training on an older piece of equipment. The exterior of the station was designed like stations from the 1910's. It's also the only two story station that has a fire pole.
Firefighters had to undergo training in order to slide down it properly. The idea of installing a pole is that it's quicker to slide down from the second floor instead of taking the stairs. However, the newer fire stations eventually went away with the design.
"In the 1970's and 1980's, there were no poles in them. They were typically one story buildings and had no need for a pole," said Captain Mark Box, Joplin Fire Department.
The first fire pole was installed in the 1870's inside a three story fire station in Chicago.