Avon Fire & Rescue Service in the UK has purchased two drones, with the intention of deploying them at major incidents.
According to the brigade, the UAVs will be supplied by DJI, and will carry an H20T camera payload. They will be used to improve “crews’ response to large fires and road traffic collisions,” as well as during rescue operations taking place from height and on water.
Discussing the technology, a spokesperson said: “Drone footage, with thermal and advanced imagery, will be streamed securely to incident commanders to inform effective decision making at the scene. The drones can be deployed into high-risk environments, improving firefighter safety by identifying key [dangers].”
Avon FRS temporary watch manager B, Sean Perry, said: “The drones have HD camera capability with multiple functions, including a high zoom lens and thermal imaging.
“The latter can be used to assist at incident locations where ordinarily fire crews wouldn’t be able to access. [The drones] will provide support at large scale incidents by allowing a broader oversight of the scene.”
Steve Gadd, on-call support officer based at Portishead station, said: “The drones are a huge piece of kit, and we are really fortunate that Portishead has been selected to store and operate them. It’s a privilege to be given this responsibility.”
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Author: Philip Mason