Drones, the new eye in the sky for firefighters

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) teams across the state are trained in the use of advanced drone technology to assist with firefighting operations and other emergencies.

National Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are being rolled out as part of a 5 $.4 million by the New South Wales government.

“These drones are deployed in 25 regional areas, giving FRNSW crews an eye in the sky to help them better fight fires and keep our communities safe,” Ms Cooke said.

“The drones are connected to FRNSW’s wireless and satellite communication networks, allowing real-time imagery to be viewed and analyzed at the scene of an emergency, helping firefighters make faster decisions. and act faster.”

RPAS are equipped with thermal cameras and laser technology capable of detecting varying heat temperatures, identifying people or animals at risk in a fire area, and measuring the size of an area affected by a fire .

FRNSW Bushfire and Aviation Unit Commander Scott Donohoe said drones can be activated at the scene of an emergency within minutes.

“The drones are stored in our vehicles and ready for immediate use, providing FRNSW commanders with aerial imagery that can help determine the safest and most effective locations to position fire engines and crews,” said Superintendent Donohoe.

“We plan to have approximately 200 firefighters trained to fly the drones. Training available on multiple levels includes sessions on night flying, situational awareness, live streaming, rapid mapping, use of aerial incendiaries and 3D panning skills.

Drones can be used to assess bushfire risk, assist in risk reduction operations and find missing people in the dense bush.

The drones have already been deployed in the Northern Rivers region to assess flood-damaged infrastructure, identify hazardous materials and find leftover debris.

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