Just Like A Jumping Sheet
Some guy in Seattle fell while he was climbing the side of a building, landed on an awning, and survived. And when police asked why he was climbing the building, he said he was trying to get closer to God. But he was also on meth.
Read the whole story at azcentral.com.
I couldn't help but be reminded of those "jumping tarps" that you'd see featured in old cartoons. The person would be trapped in a burning building and then jump onto that canvas target thing that the firemen would be holding down below on the sidewalk.
According to researcher Cecil Adams, after being developed in the mid 1800's, the "Firefighter Trampoline" or "Jumping Sheet" as they were known have been phased out since the mid 1980's. A caller told us that a fire station in Muscatine still has one but obviously does not use it.
The net was pretty unsafe and rarely worked like it did in the cartoons. At a 1910 fire in New Jersey, 4 girls died when they jumped simultaneously into the net. As you'd expect, they ripped right through the tarp. Not all of them ended badly. In 1957, a woman from Anchorage dropped her 3 year old daughter from a burning building into a life net. The child made it safe and sound. Seeing how easy it was, the mom jumped and ended up breaking her back.