Drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), are an emerging topic of interest for the United States fire service. This technology not only has the ability to capture incredible views of fire scenes from otherwise-unattainable vantage points, but also the capacity to provide unique incident intelligence that can aid firefighting efforts while firefighters are working.
Yet there are still some unanswered questions about how UAS might impact fire suppression operations. While there have been many reports of drones assisting in operations or rescue situations, there have also been reports of some crews reacting with hostility to private drone operators filming scenes and even of wildland aircraft operations being temporarily disrupted by the presence of UAS.
In the above-linked PowerPoint presentation, UAS consultant Mike Clemens offers some glimpses of the potential uses for UAS in fire and emergency scenarios.
- Drone Grounds Water Drops on California Wildfire
- Virginia Fire Department Uses Drone in Rescue Operations
- Firefighters Try to Take Down Drone Flying Over House Fire
- Firefighting Drone Challenge Held at NC State University
- Drone Video Captures Huge Bridgeport (CT) Fire
- Drone Assists in Rim Fire (CA) Containment
- Drone Video of Connecticut Factory Fire
- Connecticut Fire Department Employs Drone at Quarry Fire
- Drone Hindered Ohio Medical Chopper
- Drone Footage of CT Fire’s Aftermath
- Colorado Firefighters Use Drone to Help in Underground Rescue Training
- Maryland Fire Department to Use Drones
- Montgomery County (MD) Fire Department Using Drones
- Fighting Wildfires with Drones