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February 11, 2014
UAS Video Instrumental in Gauging Dangerous Fire

Firefighters got this exceptional bird’s eye view of a dangerous fire with a video camera mounted on a $1,500 UAS.

When a fire broke out at a Branford, Conn. quarry on Jan. 30, 2014, Fire Chief Jack Ahern knew it was more complex than most incidents—the quarry housed explosives for a blasting company.

“We didn't know exactly at the time if it was near the explosives, but we always plan for the worst case, and in this case, it ended up being a good thing,” said Ahern.

Firefighters used this UAS to assess the danger of a fire before sending in personnel.

 

The fire department needed eyes on what was going on, so the chief turned to volunteer firefighter Peter Sachs, who offered his small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the fire department's use. Sachs says it “turned out to be the perfect example of why a drone could be useful to the fire service.”

“I flew it up and over the fire with the chief looking over my shoulder at the video because it has a live video feed,” said Sachs.

The video the UAS captured is what the chief used to decide if it was safe enough to send in firefighters.

“Through his knowledge and experience, he was able to determine that the fire was far enough away from the explosives for them to safely send in fire department personnel,” said Sachs.

Images courtesy of the Branford Eagle.

Read the full story and view a UAS video of the fire.

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