Very cool story from 3Dprint about some R&D going on at the Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department in Texas:
You might be surprised to find out just how much one fire department in Texas has come to depend on 3D printing—and why. Due to the self-sustainability and on-demand creation allowed though with access to software and hardware for 3D printing, the Magnolia Fire Department caught on quickly to the positives of this progressive technology. They realized a need as far back as 2011 when a major fire knocked out power and most lines of communication to the public. Many people were coming by the fire department for information, but the firefighters were busy out doing what they do best—fighting smoke and flames.
Assistant Fire Chief and Chief of Technology Chuck Grant, who has come on board with the Magnolia Fire Department since that time, states that they needed to find a way to alert the public about what was going on even if no one was there. They did this through creating LED signs, along with making a new logo. As the project began to snowball, the department looked for a way to create fire hydrants on the sides of station sides at each location. With two for each, they would need a total of 18 fabricated fire hydrants.