Firefighters have long faced the challenge of putting out fires and rescuing people from tall buildings and other hard to reach places. Now in Dubai, they will be better equipped for the daunting task, as firefighters in the city will soon be equipped with jetpacks.

It might sound like a futuristic joke, but it’s true. The Dubai Civil Defense has been confirmed to have placed an order for 20 twin-engine jetpacks from the Martin Aircraft Company. The emergency agency also ordered two flying simulators that will be used for training purposes.

The move really isn’t that much of a surprise. Dubai is one of the richest cities in the entire world, and it is filled with skyscrapers and other high-rise buildings. If there’s any place that has both the need and the finances to order jetpacks, it’s definitely the Middle East city of Dubai.

While some are saying that the move is simply a publicity stunt or an obscene display of wealth, there’s no denying that a jetpack will be extremely useful when putting out a fire in a skyscraper. The Dubai Civil Defense is said to be extremely optimistic about the idea. And it goes without saying that the firefighters who will get to fly around using jetpacks are also pretty excited.

The Martin Jetpack is larger than most stereotypical science-fiction jetpacks, and it costs a hefty $35,000. The personal flying device can carry more than 260 pounds, and it can reach the top floor of a high-rise building in a matter of seconds.

Still, some people are skeptical about the plan. The technology of jetpacks is still in its infancy, and it’s not like there have been many success stories in the past. Nevertheless, Dubai will be one of the first cities to test this innovative firefighting method. At the very least, people occupying high-rise buildings in Dubai will feel a little bit safer. And if the program is a success, it shouldn’t be long until other grossly wealthy areas of the world adopt a similar approach.

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