Smeal’s swing-out computerized pump panel is another sign of things to come. It is continuing the trend of electronically controlling everything on a rig except stretching in the first line. And, it will seal the fate of older, computer-illiterate pump operators who may have misplaced their glasses. I glanced at the panel and panicked when I saw “MAIN MENU” and “PASSWORD ENTRY.” My first thought was, “Where is my grandson? He’ll help me.” My second thought was, “Thank God I’m no longer in the fire department.” Soon, being old fashioned will have no place in the fire service. It will only mean sugar and bitters with brandy or bourbon.
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