Civil Defence launches first firefighting drone
The Civil Defence Department of the Umm Al Quwain Police has launched a special drone for fighting fire in high and narrow places.
The unmanned plane is equipped with a manual fire extinguisher to efficiently and quickly curb the flames, according to Col Hassan Ali Mohammed bin Sarm, director of the UAQ Civil Defence department.
” The all-new device will help firefighters reach narrow and high areas and successfully manage to contain the blaze in a record time and prevent the flames from spreading to nearby places.”
Mohammed Salem, a safety engineer, told Khaleej Times that drones armed with cameras and sensor payloads have been used by military and border control agencies for decades to improve situational awareness.
” Commercialization now has brought more UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, to market – making the technology more accessible to fire as well as civil defence and emergency departments.”
These eyes-in-the-sky can be used across public-safety services, he added. “They can be used in transmitting bird’s- eye video of a fire to incident commanders and mapping out hard-hit areas after a disaster.”
While civilians have a huge number of UAV models and brands to choose from for hobby use, fire departments generally look at UAVs in terms of performance, robustness, payload capability, and speed of deployment, among other attributes, he pointed out.
” The drone can also be used in search and rescue operations where it can identify people trapped on roofs or in occupied vehicles, and in hazardous materials situations.”
Sherif Al Wakeel, an Egyptian resident of Umm Al Quwain, told Khaleej Times that the new firefighting drone is an added value to this life-saving operation.