One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A fixed vertical pole resembling one in a fire station, used for climbing or sliding on, typically by children, now especially as a piece of playground equipment.
2In a fire station: a long vertical pole fixed in an open space between storeys which firefighters may slide down to access the ground floor quickly. In later use also used with reference to such poles in other types of buildings.
Early 19th century (in an earlier sense). In some forms from the genitive of fireman + pole.
fireman's pole/ˌfʌɪəmənz ˈpəʊl/
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