Canada's Morinville Fire Department launches UAS program



Thanks to a new partnership and collaboration with Transport Canada certified Canadian UAV company A3UAV, the Morinville Fire Department in Morinville, Alberta, Canada will begin using the Aeryon SkyRanger UAS to assist in several of its operations.

The UAS, which will be ready for deployment 24 hours a day, will be used as an additional resource for the fire department, thanks to fire department pilots and A3UAV spending the last few months taking courses, training, and conducting hours of flight time.

According to Fire Chief Brad Boddez, the idea behind using UAS in firefighting operations originated a little over two years ago after the department responded to a large condo fire.

“We found a YouTube video taken by a resident who had a recreational drone fly over the site after operations had ceased,” Boddez says via the Morinville News.

“I realized the potential this could have and the great resource a UAV could have in firefighting operations. The commander could have a much greater visibility of the fire ground while maintaining the safety of the personnel.”

Operable in a variety of conditions, including -30 Celsius temperatures, high winds, and rapidly changing environments, the SkyRanger UAS is equipped with a thermal camera, which helps it locate fire hot spots, as well as stray embers and heat signatures, which can also help with operations.

Thanks to the UAS’ zoom camera, which provides detailed site assessment information from 1000+ feet away, the UAS pilot will be able to launch the SkyRanger UAS from a safe location.

To assist with investigations, the SkyRanger UAS can also be used to create detailed 2D and 3D maps of areas affected by fire. Creating detailed 2D and 3D maps can also be used for other operations such as preplanning, inspections, and future developments.

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