Apparatus & Equipment, Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Tech Zone

Drones and the Fire Service

Issue 10 and Volume 169.

By JOSHUA LARSON Small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones or unmanned aerial vehicles, have become one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Fortune magazine estimates that from 2015-2025, the drone industry will reach an economic impact of more than $82.1 billion1; this will create more than 100,000 high-paying jobs in the process. Why is the drone industry taking off in the public sector? Having “eyes in the sky” during emergency operations provides protection to citizens and fire crews, which then provides a significant benefit to public safety agencies. The public safety sector can use drone technology for many emergency scene operations such as for large-area search and rescue of a missing person (photo 1), as long as the pilot in command (PIC) of the drone or an observer maintains visual contact with the aircraft. These aircrafts’ speed of search will increase the amount of life-saving…

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