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Meet RS-3, The Newest Rookie On The LA Fire Department

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RS-3 is a firefighting robot now part of LAFD's Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. Creative Commons | LAFD Photo by Gary Apodaca
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The nation's first firefighting robot was put into action today, just hours before its public unveiling by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The state-of-the-art RS-3 looks like a small, yellow tank. It's the latest in the department's arsenal of firefighting equipment. Today, it was called into action to help with a huge building fire in Downtown Los Angeles.

L.A. Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas says the remotely operated machine is designed to go directly into situations too dangerous for firefighters to handle on their own:

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"But it also can be used for searching for people in large collapsed buildings, horse rescues, fuel tanker fires on the freeway, fires in refineries, and many others."

The robot comes equipped with a high-power water hose that can spray 2,500 gallons a minute, as well as a front plow and heavy-duty winch. RS-3 will be stationed at Fire Station 3, which is located near the 110 and 101 freeways in downtown L.A., with the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.

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