Dubai’s police have supercars, as does the city’s ambulance fleet, and soon our firefighters will be equipped with jetpacks (we’re basically living in the future).

That’s right, the Dubai Fire Service will actually own strap-on-your-back-and-up-you-go jetpacks because Dubai Civil Defence have just put in an order for 20 of the twin-engine machines. They will be a key piece of artillery when fighting fires in Dubai’s many highrises.

The jetpacks were developed by New Zealand man Glenn Martin, who worked on the concept for over 34 years from his small island nation. According to reports, they can carry up to 118kg and cost Dhs128,000 each.

Dubai Civil Defence have also placed an order for two simulators from Martin Aircraft Company so that the emergency servicemen can familiarise themselves with the machines before having to actually use them in a fire.

firefighters jetpacks

The jetpacks will help to quickly identify the exact location of a fire in a large skyscraper, and will then allow teams on the ground to implement the best strategy as quickly as possible. Also, thermal cameras mounted on the jetpacks will give a quick reading of where the fire is at its worst.

“The Martin Jetpack is a disruptive technology, much like the helicopter was when first developed,” explains a company spokesperson. “It has substantial capabilities and is able to be flown by a pilot or via remote control. The Jetpack can take off and land vertically (VTOL) and because of its small dimensions, it can operate in confined spaces such as close to or between buildings, near trees or in confined areas that other VTOL aircraft such as helicopters cannot access.

“This highly responsive tactical air asset allows for rapid deployment for Civil Defence roles such as; intelligent surveillance, initial intervention, heavy lift payload drone, high rise rescue, and rapid deployment of specialist teams.”

We’ll have to wait and see exactly how they’re employed, but, considering the proportion of our day we spend high up in skyscrapers, we can’t wait for the jetpacks to be part of the fleet.

Here’s a bit more on the jetpacks themselves in a testing video from four years ago:

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