DRONES IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND FIRE SERVICE

Drones have consistently made waves in various service departments; the emergency rescue service and the fire service are not left out. Drones as the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), has proven necessary for recon of wildfires and motor vehicle accident scenes, hazmat incidents, hot spot identification at structure fires, and even in rescue scenarios.

Aside from the recon function and hot spot identification, additional uses for drones include in agriculture, for search and rescue, preplanning with aerial photos and video identification of utilities, utility shutoffs, construction and estate development, event monitoring and disaster assessment and post-disaster recon after weather events such as floods or tornados.

 

DRONES, WHAT THEY ARE EXACTLY AND HOW CAN THEY BE USED?

For those unfamiliar with these artifacts, drones are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UASes). A drone is simply a flying robot that can be remotely controlled. It’s built to fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans which are embedded in their systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS.

Therefore, besides the use of Drones in agriculture, search and rescue, preplanning, identification of utilities, construction and estate development, event monitoring and disaster assessment, etc. There are many more Drone applications but they are also well utilised in Emergency Response and Fire Service.

 

DRONES IN FIREFIGHTING

The world is still relieving from the “terrible tragedy” of the Notre dame incidence. The “accidental destruction” of France’s most iconic landmark, a UNESCO world heritage site has left many speechless. Both Christians and non-Christians surely felt the blow of such colossal loss of the Centuries’ old building spire and roof, torn down by fire.

Thermal imaging from a drone

The fire accident, according to reports (Washington post, 2019) took firefighters more than 12 hours to extinguish. The role played by drones in assisting the local fire service department in the inferno is not to be wiped off easily. Local firefighters are still paying accolades to the DJI drones used in the incidence.

The Paris Fire brigade spokesman was quoted by the local media acknowledging the efficiency of the drones. (The Verge, 2019). “The drones allowed us to correctly use what we had at our disposal.”

“Time was against us, the wind was against us, and we had to get the upper hand,” the spokesman told the Times of London; “The priority we set was to save the two belfries. Imagine if the timber of the belfries had been weakened, and the bells had collapsed. That was really our fear. In the beginning, it was not impossible to imagine that the cathedral structure could collapse.” (The times UK, 2019). The two drones used was said to have been borrowed from the Ministry of Interior.

The two drones used were said to be equipped with thermal cameras and effective for tracking the source of the fire and the fire movements, and leveraging on the aerial vantage points to strategically tackle the fire. This proved to be more flexible, effective and with low cost compared to the usage of choppers.

Aside from the two DJIs used drones known as ‘Colossus,’ other firefighting robots; the “water cannon robot” and the “Hose Extension Robot” are also available, (The robots report, 2019) designed for too hazardous conditions such as fire at chemical plants.

Interstellar Drones operates in the Medway area, the Southeast of England and beyond offering Drone aerial services specialising in surveys and inspections. If you find this information useful and will like to be assisted to tackle any challenges you may have, just get in touch.