Things are really heating up for the Brampton Fire and Emergency Services (BFES). The department made the decision to take to the skies using drones as part of a new approach to fighting fires and the handling of other emergencies. They purchased three DJI Inspire 1 Pro drones. BFES received the appropriate permits from Transport Canada and is the first fire service in Ontario (and amongst only a handful in Canada) to be issued licenses for this kind of drone use.
Here are some of the requirements mandated by Transport Canada, which include:
- Constantly maintaining direct line of sight on the drone during operations.
- Restricting flight to 300 feet above ground level.
- Maintaining flight operations at a minimum distance of 100 feet from non-emergency personnel.
Our Fire Department is leading the way in designing innovative approaches, like the drone program, to help keep our residents and first responders safe. This is another example of our city embarking on creative new technology solutions to better serve our residents. – Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey
BFES personnel have undergone training and testing with the drones. The drones will be used to support several of its core operations, including firefighting, hazardous materials response and technical rescue. It will also be a useful tool for evaluating training exercises.
Check out the following video found on Global News where Platoon Chief Paul Bebbington discusses how the program works.
In addition to training and testing over the past months, a drone was brought in to support a response to a fuel tanker roll over in a mutual aid call up in Caledon. The drone was used to help with impact mitigation and cleanup by identifying the extent of any possible fuel spill into a nearby brush area, and to help locate nearby wellheads to check for impacts.
Below is a video from BFES of how the drone works during testing of emergency calls:
Brampton Fire and Emergency Services could always use a bit of innovation in their approach to doing their job. If a drone can hover around and give them a good view on how to put a fire out or pull some poor guy out of a pond, then why not?