Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Fire + Rescue flying high to tackle emergency

- By Laura Green

Deniliquin’s Fire + Rescue NSW brigade has been undergoing some high-tech training.

Drones have recently been added to the brigade’s cache of tools to enable “immediate response” to emergencie­s and “safer and more efficient”, according to Captain Marty Smith.

Drones are small, remote-controlled flying machines which hold cameras.

The camera’s birds-eye view is transmitte­d back to the controller on the ground, who can assess the situation.

“It gives us situationa­l awareness in cases where it’s dangerous, such as attending a large structure fire or when conducting searches,” Capt Smith said.

The set provided to Deniliquin Fire + Rescue — a Mavic 2 Enterprise — includes a digital and thermal imaging camera.

“The thermal camera will assist us with fires, as well as search and rescue (because it can detect body heat),” Capt Smith said.

“For instance, if we have concerns for someone’s welfare or reports of lost people.”

The firefighte­rs have spent two days on theory and another on flight instructio­n, including five hours of flight training to achieve a Civil Aviation Safety Authority commercial remote pilot licence.

The final step to achieve the CASA qualificat­ion involves an assessment with a minimum 85 per cent pass rate.

Monthly half-hour training is required for each firefighte­r to maintain the accreditat­ion.

Trainer James Sheridan said the most difficult topic out of seven subject areas is meteorolog­y.

“It’s a super condensed form of what pilots need to learn, so if you haven’t touched on it before, it’s quite difficult,” Mr Sheridan said.

Fire + Rescue NSW first introduced drones to some brigades in 2016. The program has continued to roll out to other areas since.

Capt Smith said anyone interested in firefighti­ng can visit the recruitmen­t page on NSW Fire + Rescue, or phone him on 0438 477 384.

 ?? ?? Rebecca White, Deputy Captain Les Booth, Andrew Wood, flight instructor James Sheridan, Ben Purtill, Captain Marty Smith, and Deputy Captain Glenn Carr, and the drones.
Rebecca White, Deputy Captain Les Booth, Andrew Wood, flight instructor James Sheridan, Ben Purtill, Captain Marty Smith, and Deputy Captain Glenn Carr, and the drones.

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