What Happens When Technological Glitches Hinder Problem-Solving?

It is difficult to imagine how Chicago’s firefighters, in 1871, actually fought the massive fast-moving fire which was destroying their city. To help us understand their 1871 reality, suppose that your town is undergoing a gas shortage, rendering all fire engines incapable of traveling to the scene of a massive fire.  

Does that imagined scenario help to compare fire-fighting today with fire-fighting in 1871? If not, do you have a better comparison? What is it?

What would fire fighters do, today if:

  • A gas shortage actually happened (thereby preventing them from fueling their fire trucks)? 
  • They couldn't drive their fire trucks to the scene of the fire? 
  • They couldn't transport their heavy equipment in a normal manner?

How much time would they lose?

How would lost time impact their fire-fighting abilities?

Media Credits

According to Wikipedia Commons: “Dyess and Abilene Regional airport firefighters team up to extinguish an aircraft fire during a joint training exercise here Nov 5. Firefighters from ABI are required by the Federal Aviation Association to be proficient in extinguishing aircraft fires. By inviting them onto the base, Dyess firefighters facilitate a means to achieve their annual training and foster a working relationship.”

(U.S. Air Force Photo taken by Airman 1st Class Chelsea Cummings).

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