In Victoria, Australia, firefighters have welcomed a new aviation drone unit that will support fire fighting efforts on the ground. The newly announced unit will use DJI drones to improve situational awareness and search and rescue efforts.

Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) has been using drones for some time now, with a recent use at the burst dam site to give first responders an understanding of the situation from above.

This new aviation unit will mean it will have a dedicated set of staff available at all times to fly the drones. Along with the aviation unit, the FRV will receive four new drones to help monitor fires, floods, marine, and hazmat incidents across the state.

Deputy Commissioner Braid shared:

FRV protects communities and lives right across Victoria during a range of emergency incidents, including grass and bushfires. The technology means we can monitor fires from the air and get a much better picture of fires that are often large and complex. We will also continue to provide support for other agencies right across the state using this new capability.

The drone unit will also be available to other agencies in the state if required for any reason. The drones are equipped with RGB and thermal cameras, allowing them to be used day or night and, more importantly, find a hotspot in a fire to understand better what should be done next.

All the pilots are CASA-qualified and are specialist aviation accredited personnel, including air attack supervisors and aircraft officers.

Fire Rescue Victoria Commissioner Ken Block followed with:

Victorian career firefighters were the first in Australia to start using RPAS technology for firefighting operations, and FRV’s new aviation unit will only enhance the strong foundation of knowledge and skills our people share. This technology provides us with much greater situational awareness during a range of emergency incidents and dramatically improves timely decision making and community and firefighter safety.

Police and fire departments worldwide are increasingly turning to drones to fight crime, manage fires, and improve efficiency.

Photo: Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV)


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