LOS ANGELES - To say it will save lives is not an understatement.
The Thermite RS3 is a robotic vehicle purchased by the LAFD Foundation and donated to the department.
Low to the ground but powerful, it can deliver water at a much faster rate than a fire engine, while getting inside tight spots while being maneuvered by remote control.
So, it can go places too dangerous for firefighters, but also help find people trapped in a building, with HD and infrared cameras. It can push, pull, or lift a vehicle, so the applications are truly amazing, and still being studied by the department.
For now, it will be stationed in Downtown L.A, since structure fires present great opportunities for its use.
Do expect to see it at other responses, a truck fire in a tunnel, like the one a few years ago on the 14 Freeway, even a horse rescue at Hansen Dam, on one of those windy days where the flying helicopter is too dangerous.
A very proud LAFD chief Ralph Terrazas put it best when he said the RS3 would not only make firefighting more effective, it would make it much safer.