Firefighting drones at the Las Palmas firefighting service, Source: Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Las Palmas firefighters add a drone unit

Las Palmas firefighters add a drone unit

The new flying devices will aid on-the-ground teams in their work

8 March, apart from International Women’s Day, was also the Day of San Juan de Dios in Spain, a saint considered the patron of firefighters there. On the occasion of that celebration, the Firefighting and Rescue Service (SEIS) of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria presented a new addition to their capabilities – three drones and three operators who will fly the machines.

The flying devices were purchased with a municipal investment of 9053 euros and are expected to boost the emergency-responding capacities of the firefighting services as they are able to provide an overview of a critical situation from above and transmit the images in real-time.

Three types of adaptable drones

The addition of the drones and the ‘pilots’ who fly them represents the creation of a whole new unit at the SEIS. It was reported that the drones are different models and thus have different characteristics. They are equipped with night-vision cameras as well as the ability to fly in difficult weather conditions.

Furthermore, they will have a flight duration of 30 minutes, a GPS system, an omnidirectional obstacle detector and a maximum speed of 72 km/h. All of these characteristics will help them provide more efficiency in the work of rescue services and during adverse events, such as fires, landslides, floods, etc.

"It is an added value to the fire brigade and the service it provides to citizens since these devices provide information that allows detecting any type of fires or searching for missing persons who may be in an emergency situation, both on the ground and in the sea,” said Augusto Hidalgo, the mayor of Las Palmas, who was also present at the event.

The bird-eye view would also allow providing better security to firefighters working in dangerous situations as potential hazards, which they cannot see from the ground can be communicated to them by the drone operators.

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