Drone use taking off for police, firefighters in Eugene and Springfield

The Register-Guard, Dylan Darling

Police had the place surrounded but needed a closer look. So they sent in the drones. Eugene police flew their drones late last month as they searched for a possible armed suspect hiding in a home, with one drone hovering high overhead and the second bobbing outside a second-story window. The Sept. 25 drone mission, one of seven so far since Eugene police acquired the drones in April, didn’t reveal a suspect — he wasn’t inside the home — but it reaffirmed the value of the high-tech tool.

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Drone with thermal camera shows hot spots in massive fire in Oakland, Calif.

Drone DJ, Haye Kesterloo

Oakland firefighters have been battling a massive fire overnight at a construction site where townhomes are being built. The fire was reported at 2 a.m. this morning. About 90 firefighters were on the scene as the massive fire ripped through the townhouse construction site located at West Grant and Filbert Street in Oakland, Calif. The Alameda County sheriff’s deputies brought a DJI Inspire 1 in to get footage of the fire. The drone equipped with a thermal camera shows exactly where the hotspots are.

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Police and fire departments demonstrate drone for Lake Township Trustees

Peak of Ohio

Lake Township Trustees Bill Nichols, Peter Stolly, Jim Wish, and Fiscal Officer Bill Boy gathered in the township parking lot on South Detroit Street Tuesday evening. Fire Chief Andy Fissel, Police Chief Brandon Standley, and firefighter Hodge Hager were present to demonstrate how the city’s $22,500 DJI Matrice 210 drone operates. Lake Township bought the drone after hearing a presentation from the departments on the drone’s benefits. Finding victims, missing persons, or identifying the danger of certain situations in a timely fashion has always been an issue that has plagued both departments.

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Could drones be a big weapon against California wildfires?

Sacramento Bee, John Hidahl, El Dorado County Board of Supervisors (Dist. #1), October 12, 2018

After three of California’s biggest wildfires ever, this year will likely mark the worst fire season in state history. As first responders and firefighters are stretched beyond capacity, we need to focus on ways to improve response time and gather real-time information. One way is to make sure that emergency responders have the most technically advanced tools available. It’s up to each department to select the best tools; next-generation helmets for some, rapid extinguishing technologies for others. Drones are another tool to consider; with trained pilots, unmanned drones can operate in high temperatures, fly at night and in heavy smoke and get to the scene quicker than a fire engine.

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First Responders Tap into UAS Technology for Improved Situational Awareness, Safety

Radio Resource International, by Danny Ramey,

While UAS, or drone, technology has been around for a while, it began taking off in the public-safety and business arenas in 2014, said Ryan English, CEO and cofounder of FlyMotion, which supports agencies in developing and operating drone programs. Prior to that, the technology was mostly contained to military applications or recreational users. “As the equipment cost has come down, that has been a big contributing factor [in the growth of drones],” said English.

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These Drones And Humans Will Work Together In Hurricane Florence Recovery Efforts

Forbes, by Jennifer Kite-Powell

Drones are increasingly used by emergency organizations to quickly collect reliable data from impacted areas that are unsafe or impossible for humans and other human-crewed vehicles to reach. This data allows response crews to identify which areas require immediate assistance, facilitate search and rescue efforts for survivors and survey damage for future rebuilding and insurance purposes. 

A drone company in North Carolina, PrecisionHawk, is preparing to deploy hundreds of pilots from its drone pilot network, Droners.IO, to respond to insurance claims in the wake of Hurricane Florence the week of September 17, 2018.

“Today, insurers are increasingly using drones for asset inspections, particularly when assessing claims. With drones, insurers can gather data about asset conditions that is unprecedented in precision and objectivity,” said Michael Chasen, CEO, PrecisionHawk. “This practice is transforming the claims cycle, making it faster and safer for adjusters to observe, analyze and assess the damage associated with incidents ranging from one-off accidents to natural disasters.”

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California’s fires face a new, high-tech foe: Drones

CNET, by Lexy Savvides

Drones offer an unparalleled perspective for firefighters to spot threats. But the real potential is yet to come. Fire crews could deploy swarms of drones to get different views of the same fire, or send up drones with water tanks to complement traditional aerial firefighting tools, such as helicopters and planes. 

The Menlo Park Fire District was one of the first in the US to start a drone program. In the four years since, more than 180 fire departments across the country have bought drones for fire and rescue operations. Relatively few have pushed drone usage to the same level as Menlo Park, which has set up a dedicated drone command center and which trains firefighters from around the country to pilot the aerial devices. “First responders are trained to deal with any type of stress very quickly and appropriately, but this is new technology,” says Romeo Durscher, director of public safety integration at DJI. “This sounds like a Jetsons future,” says Durscher, “but I think this is really around the corner.”

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Drone use continues to enhance emergency response

Cleburne Times Review, by Jessica Pounds

From monitoring wildfires to rescuing stranded motorists in flood waters, the unmanned aircraft system — or drone — has been a game changer for emergency response.

The number of public safety agencies with drones has more than doubled since the end of 2016, according to data collected by the Center for the Study of the Drone at New York’s Bard College.

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