Four Innovative Use Cases for Drones in Fire & Rescue
Thanks to today’s drone technology, extinguishing fires to protect and save lives as well as physical properties has become an easier task for firefighters. Many fire departments have already adopted drones as a primary tool to increase firefighter safety and operational effectiveness, and are continuously looking for improved technologies to help them achieve their goals, such as electronic and gas sensors, heat-resistant materials, improved cameras, autonomous and swarm operations, and improved range and air time.
A Fire at an Oil Well Site
In 2014 and ahead of his time, a volunteer firefighter with the Windsor Severance Fire Rescue (WSFR), Mike Vickerman, incorporated a drone into his work with the ultimate goal to film as much of a fire as he could to learn what went wrong during the operation and what could go better. Little did he know that earlier this month, during a small fire at an oil well site, WSFR would perform the inaugural flight for a new drone and its pilot. By relaying high-definition video image from above the site and providing thermal imaging to observe the fire’s heat signature before fire crew members and site operators could safely re-enter the area, the drone was able to pinpoint the fire’s origin successfully and confirm it was extinguished.
“The use of UAVs in the fire service is rapidly expanding and WSFR is proud to be participating in this area of growth,” the department wrote. “WSFR worked in partnership with the site operators to ensure the hazard had been completely mitigated and using the UAV allowed personnel from both agencies to safely visualize the situation before entering the scene.”