08/19/11 54 W - + 5 - 3 The Future is Here: Drones on the Fireground

From this posting by Statter911, here's footage from a hobby/business group in Portland that operated three quadcopters at a live burn. (Drone = unmanned aerial vehicle designed for recon.) What are the benefits for incident commanders? This video tells a thousand words and then some:

I want one! Cool video
2redline - 08/19/11 - 10:22

I personally dont see a huge benefit in this. Especially when you look at cost vs. benefit. I’m just assuming that this thing will be pretty pricey! Now, if it could go in the fire that would be a different story. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t go comparing it to the invention of the TIC. Just my 2 cents!
Rhodes - 08/19/11 - 18:49

Here’s a variation of a question that I posted on Statter’s site: do you favor more eyes or fewer eyes on the fireground? With more eyes, you get more intel for incident commanders. But there’s more seeing of what’s might be done “wrong.” Maybe those drones are exciting for IC, but scary for incident review?
Legeros - 08/19/11 - 18:51

I could see this as having potential. The usage would take away another person on the fireground, because for obvious reasons it wouldnt be very usefull having IC using this thing, safety would be too busy… I dont see who would be able to pilot the thing other than maybe a chiefs aid, which how many departments have those? Maybe the inspector if they arive early? as the the incident review question, if big brothers eye in the sky catches you doing something “wrong” then you should learn from your mistakes. I understand how you dont want to be caught doing something wrong, but the ability to help firefighters learn from their mistakes and not alienate, embarrass, or down right call someone out is a leadership issue. Another topic for another post….
Capt. Chaos (Email) (Web Site) - 08/19/11 - 23:07

I think it’s cool! atleast cool video. Could help on big box fires yes but then again a ff on the tip of a arial giving a birds eye view could work also(if it’s blowing the shingles off)haha just kidding! I wish I came up with the idea you know somebody will buy into it!
Jason Lane - 08/19/11 - 23:36

Darley has them for sale. Complete with High def camera and thermal imaging. First saw it in the Darley Times insert in fire magazines and then looked at the website.
Eugene Beard (Email) - 08/20/11 - 03:47

Hazmat or USAR scene fly-overs would be very helpful! Outfit with a FLIR and use for local area missing persons searches…. The uses are almost limitless in special ops (...and it would be a good tool at larger fires too!).
A.C. Rich - 08/20/11 - 09:54

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