LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officially unveiled one of its newest tool to help fight fires, while also fighting crime.
The Fire Cat was first seen in action at the recent fire station shooting in Agua Dulce when it was too dangerous for firefighters to approach a house fire at the suspect’s home.
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In law enforcement situations where there’s also the issue of an ongoing fire, deputies in the Fire Cat are able to adjust a stream of high-powered water, along with the direction of the stream, all by using a joystick inside the vehicle. The Fire Cat has a 300 gallon water tank and can shoot water a distance of up to 120 feet.
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After the shooting at Firehouse 81 in Agua Dulce, the armed suspect then lit his own house on fire. Both law enforcement, fire crews and nearby residents worried the flames would ignite nearby brush.
The Fire Cat moved onto the scene and was able to put out much of the fire at the home, allowing deputies to get close enough to the suspect, though he had already taken his own life.
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“This is a prime example of that, where we use this new technology to safely handle some of these incidents,” a Sheriff’s spokesperson said, “and protect the neighborhood. That’s the key, to protect the community.”