Date Published : November 9th, 2015 Published By : admin
Firefighters in Dublin could soon be using drones permanently to help them tackle incidents as guidelines on the use of drones within the fire service are almost complete.
Dublin Fire Brigade is likely to integrate the unmanned flying device into operational use by the end of this year. The quad-copters or drones will be deployed as a means to gather crucial operational intelligence on fires and other emergency situations. Drones can reach greater heights than ladders which allow officers to gather crucial information in an short timeframe.
So far, six fire service personnel at Dublin Fire Brigade have been trained to operate the devices since their introduction to the brigade some months ago. They were tested on a trial use at a major and protracted fire incident at Ballymount in April last.
Limerick Fire & Rescue Service is the first fire service to use drones in the Irish fire service while the Civil Defence has also introduced drones to the voluntary service as part of certain incidents and operations. In the UK, the technology has been adopted by many fire services where they have been fitted with infrared cameras that can penetrate smoke, as well as night-vision capability.
Dublin Fire Brigade’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Denis Keely has said the DFB’s careful, measured approach to developing guidelines and introducing them to the public arena is critical. “We want to be slow with this and make sure everyone moves along with this rather than being scared off. There is an onus on us that we don’t damage a tool that could be very useful.”
Dublin Fire Brigade is also considering purchasing a second drone which will be fitted to the Incident Command Unit which is mobilised to major and complex incidents.
“From an operational perspective, to have an overview, an ability to step back from the situation and a quick visual of an incident from an aerial shot can be quite advantageous” added ACFO Keely.