Goodbye, Nostalgia: Fire Stations Scrap Poles Quick means of descent was major safety hazard By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Dec 23, 2010 11:12 AM CST 8 comments Comments Fire poles are becoming a thing of the past. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – They may be cool, but they’re just not safe: fire departments around the country are getting rid of their classic poles, Time reports. Instead, they’re opting for stairs and slides. “The pole is something we associated with as kids," says a Seattle architect. "But the pole has been one of the biggest sources of firefighter injury”—resulting in a $13 million lawsuit in the city, which has banned poles. Some fire stations still have poles, but the National Fire Protection Association is working on getting rid of them, or at least enclosing them “so nobody stumbles into it in the middle of the night,” says a former fire chief.