The iconic fireman’s pole is being phased out in Austria. In fact, the last usable pole in the nation’s capital of Vienna was physically removed recently. The only remaining firefighter’s pole in the city resides in its firefighter’s museum.
Officials claim the poles are no longer necessary because new or renovated stations are laid out in such a way that they wouldn’t result in time saved in getting to a fire. These layout changes themselves were made because “stairs are safer.”
Say what? I’m not aware of any carnage that has occurred due to sliding down a 12 foot post. I do hear of people tripping and falling down the stairs, etc., on a regular basis. More to the point, however: these are firemen. We wouldn’t want our firemen (and women) exposed to any risk as they are racing into a fire to pull people out of burning, collapsing, smoke-filled buildings, would we now?!
Make no mistake, this aversion to firemen sliding down poles will quickly spread throughout the West. Fire stations will no longer be allowed to have poles, even as “pole-dancing” is rapidly increasing in popularity with many women who feel liberated by the exercise and freedom of expression and artistry that their pole performances provide, as they spin around, hang on and slide towards the floor upside down.
So stands the world in 2016.