Canada's Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service launching UAS program in June



In an effort to provide “safer, quicker, and more efficient response” to emergency situations, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) will launch its UAS program in June.

Equipped with a thermal imaging camera, WFPS' UAS can help first responders locate individuals and fire hot spots, and it will also be able to identify potential structural issues.

Using the UAS, incident commanders on scene will be able to see what the UAS sees in real-time, which will allow them to 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,” says 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 UAS can be used in a number of different scenarios, including but not limited to, water rescues, hazardous materials response, and wildland fire monitoring. The technology 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,” explains 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.”

When the program launches, the UAS will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it will be capable of operating in cold weather conditions up to -20 °C, and in wind speeds of up to 40 km/h.

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