Drones have been used for decades by the military and border control agents for surveillance and other classified missions. Currently, drones have become one of the latest tools for firefighters, EMS, and emergency responders to natural and manmade disasters and other events. Drones have many advantages when compared to other manned aircraft. Here are some of the benefits and capabilities of drones that are currently in use by first responders:
- Portable - Drones are portable, and can be deployed quickly in unknown and dangerous situations.
- Affordable - Drones are affordable compared to helicopters and other manned aircraft.
- Quiet - Drones are relatively quiet, which is an important quality when attempting to locate lost people and survivors.
- Operate Remotely - Drones can fly over hard-to-reach locations to assess and evaluate what resources should be deployed to respond to a particular disaster scene. These assessments save time, money and the equipment of first responders.
- Infrared Cameras - Drones can be equipped with infrared cameras. These cameras are heat sensitive and transmit thermographic images and live video to a monitor in the fire department's headquarters. These cameras can film through dust and smoke and go into areas that are too dangerous for helicopters and other manned aircraft. The images that these cameras generate can determine the exact location and intensity of a current fire. These cameras provide valuable information to the fire department before they begin to fight a fire.
- Locate Survivors and Victims - Equipped with an infrared camera, drones can scan accidents and disaster scenes to locate lost people and survivors. These pictures are sent to fire department headquarters in real time and can determine the exact location and condition of the survivors as well as the appropriate personnel and equipment that is needed for a particular rescue.
- Deliver Survival Equipment - Drones have been used to drop off equipment and supplies, such as cell phones and GPS locators, to trapped people and survivors. Drones have also been used to deliver life jackets and other clothing, medicine, and small amounts of food and drink to survivors.
- Crowd Assessment and Control - Drones can be used to assess the crowds at large events and concerts and to help emergency personnel be prepared for any unforeseen incidents or accidents.
Drones help to safeguard emergency responders and the public in many situations. Drones are at the cutting edge of disaster response and crowd control and will continue to play a growing and very important role in communities and countries around the world. For more information, ask a local fire prevention service like Ace Fire Protection.