The Phoenix Fire Department announced that it is adding a fleet of Skydio drones to its arsenal to support its firefighters while on a call.
The largest US drone manufacturer has already seen success in both the defense and law enforcement sectors, but that doesn’t stop there. Drones have found their way into every part of public safety, including the fire department.
Skydio’s X2 is purpose-built for this industry, and Phoenix chose Skydio for its ease of use and autonomous flight features. The Phoenix Fire Department plans to use its structure and brush fire as well as search and rescue.
The autonomous flight capabilities of the Skydio drones will help our teams gain situational awareness from an aerial view, while being equipped with advanced safety features that protect both our community and firefighters, and enable our new pilots to fly confidently.Phoenix Fire Chief Mike Duran
The stripped-down (yet also beefed up?) version of the Skydio 2, the X2, features a similar 4K color camera but can also be equipped with a FLIR thermal camera, which the PFD has done. In addition, the X2 can be flown as far as 10 km away, which could prove extremely useful for both search and rescue and brush fire incidents.
It is interesting to note that the Phoenix FD mentioned Skydio’s autonomous safety features as a selling point of the drones. The ability of Skydio’s drones to fly by themselves has kept them in the market against its biggest competitor, DJI.
The Phoenix Fire Department is just one of many public safety agencies that have expanded its coverage and capabilities thanks to drones. Something the public will need to learn to adapt to as it becomes more widespread.