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Mon, May 21, 2018

WFPS Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program To Take Flight

Aircraft Equipped With Thermal Imaging Cameras

This June, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service will launch its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program, which will allow for safer, quicker, and more efficient response to a variety of emergency situations.

Equipped with a thermal imaging camera, the unmanned aerial vehicle, otherwise known as a drone, can assist first responders in locating individuals and fire hot spots. It will also be able to identify potential structural issues. Incident commanders on scene will be able to view what the drone sees in real-time and deploy resources more effectively to the emergency.

“This program is just one more way the City of Winnipeg is using technology to improve the quality of life for people living and working here,” said Councillor Cindy Gilroy, Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Innovation. “This technology will assist our first responders to provide essential services to residents.”

The drone can be used in a variety of scenarios including water rescues, hazardous materials response, fire scene safety assessments and reconnaissance as well as wildland fire monitoring. It can also be used in post incident analysis and investigation.

“With the drone’s help, fire crews will have a better understanding of the emergency situation and any potential dangers,” said Scott Wilkinson, Senior Academy Officer with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. “With a more targeted response, the drone will also help reduce damage and improve operational efficiencies.”

Funding for the approximately $44,037 program comes from the Innovation Capital Fund. Crews are currently training four pilots per shift. When the program launches in June, the drone will be available 24/7, and can be operated in cold weather conditions up to -20 °C, and in wind speeds of up to 22 knots.

(Source: Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service news release. Image from provided video)

FMI: winnipeg.ca/fps/operations/fire/UnmannedAerialVehicleProgram.stm

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