FIREFIGHTING | SEARCH AND RESCUE | SAFETY
Type of system: Aeryon SkyRanger
Deploying Agency: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Piloting Agency: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Dates of Deployment: July 2015 – Present
The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) added a drone to its emergency response toolkit in July 2015. The primary objective was to improve the safety of personnel. The GMFRS are one of the world’s first Fire and Rescue Services to have adopted an around-the-clock drone capacity to respond to a range of crises, and they appear to be motivating other fire departments across the United Kingdom to do the same.
The Aerial Imagery Reconnaissance Unit, known as the AIR Unit is the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom and possibly in the world. The AIR Unit responds to incidents on a nearly daily basis, from aerial imaging of incidents to carrying out search and rescue with thermal cameras.
To determine if a drone would add value to the firefighting teams and gauge whether or not it was possible to justify the cost, the GMFRS began by running an initial trial with a drone and a few trained pilots. The GMFRS initially had temporary contracts with drone companies to lease equipment. Firefighters were trained to operate the drone and analyse the data collected. (more…)