The Future is Bright for Drones Used in Fire and Rescue Services

More and more, we are seeing the benefits of drones in high risk situations throughout the world – including Fire and Rescue Services. These emergency response teams are using the Aeryon SkyRanger sUAS to aid in fire fighting, searching for missing people and other critical incident applications where first responders can use the aerial intelligence to do their jobs more effectively.

The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) added a SkyRanger to its emergency response toolkit in 2015. The main objective was to improve the safety of personnel. The GMFRS are one of the world’s first Fire and Rescue Services to adopt an around-the-clock drone capacity to respond to a range of crises, and they appear to be motivating another fire departments across the United Kingdom to do the same.

The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) takes a in-depth look at how GMFRS are using SkyRanger and how the future of its duties will be implemented.

The following is an excerpt from the case study:

“The drone used by the GMFRS is an Aeryon SkyRanger, which can fly up to 50 minutes, at a range of some 122 m (400 feet) above the ground. It has the capacity to fly up to 5 km away from the controller, but GMFRS will fly it a maximum of 500 m (1 640 feet) away from the controller. The UK Civil Aviation Authority has a code of practice that drone pilots must adhere to. Before flying, the GMFRS applied for operating permission and developed terms and conditions on how they would operate the drone. According to Mr. Mark Fairclough, “A lot of the current guidance is for hobbyists and not conducting search and rescue like we are.”

A live-streaming solution has been in a trial phase, and initial results show that a live-streaming service to a remote server may be considered for the AIR Unit’s toolkit.

While the AIR Unit is unique, it appears to be inspiring other fire and rescue teams elsewhere in the UK. The use of drones has been adopted for occasional use in Kent, but as of June 2016, no fire and rescue services have yet adopted a 24/7 unit like the GMFRS. More widespread adoption by other fire and rescue forces is likely. To date some 43 fire and rescue forces have successfully completed trials using SkyRanger drones.”

Click here to read the complete case study.

[Source: FSD]