A thermal drone from the Bedford Fire Department located two missing hikers on Sharp Top Mountain in Virginia on Christmas day. The thermal camera on the drone allowed the fire department to quickly find the lost people.
California Fire Departments are increasingly turning to Silicon Valley technology, such as drones, satellite images, and artificial intelligence to more effectively fight bigger blazes. In a recent article, Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman of the Menlo Park District said “Take the handcuffs off,” he said. “Let us fly [drones].”
Firefighters used a thermal drone to help them fight a fire in a Lauderhill home on Wednesday afternoon. The thermal imaging capabilities of the unmanned aircraft enabled the firefighters to quickly establish where in the building the fire was located. It was the first time the Lauderhill Fire Rescue crew used a drone this way.
On Monday, an Autel Evo I drone was donated to the East Great Plain Volunteer Fire Department in Norwich, CT. The drone was donated by Autel Robotics and FoxFury Lighting to the National Public Safety Drone Donation Program, which in turn donated the equipment to the fire department.
Update: an earlier version of this article referred to an Autel EVO II, whereas it is an Autel EVO I instead.