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Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Inexpensive Rescue Basket for DJI Matrice 200 and 210

DJI Matrice 210 Homemade Fire Department Rescue Basket.

Here at the Wake Forest Fire Department I finally gave up looking for a UAS rescue basket solution to deliver small items to victims in remote locations. There was no apparent solution available that met the wish list needs for our DJI Matrice 210 delivery solution. After looking high and low for a mechanism to deliver and drop items to ... Read More »

DJI FlightHub System Starts and Stops to Start Again

DJI recently announced their new FlightHub platform to allow drone management operations. This is a piece of software I’ve been looking forward to for a few months now. Go to http://www.dji.com/flighthub Everything has some growing pains. When I got my test login for FlightHub I only made it as far as the server. An email this morning says the platform ... Read More »

Drone Structure Fire Flight Creates Surprises and Lessons Learned

I’m hoping this will become somewhat of an ongoing series of articles about lessons learned from actual public safety UAS flying with the amazing Wake Forest Fire Department. A structure fire call came in for a home that had already been burning for some time and was fully involved when we were dispatched. I was en route within minutes to ... Read More »

How I Setup My Tahoe for Fire Department Drone Flying

Sometimes people ask me about how I setup my Tahoe for my fire department UAS flying. I’ve dragged my feet long enough, so here is my setup. On the vehicle itself I have the requisite hidden red, yellow and white strobe lights for responding. But I also have a second battery in the vehicle to power all the accessories, lights, ... Read More »

The Coming Public Safety Drone Pilot Danger of Wilting on the Vine

It’s one thing to want to get into flying UAS or drones for public safety missions. Getting the proper training, passing the right tests, and doing a bit of flying is the easy part. What is going to become more of an issue are people of fire departments and police departments who have passed a test and flown a bit ... Read More »

How Does the Public Safety Drone Pilot Communicate With Other Pilots to Avoid Conflict?

As more Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones begin to fly in emergency service roles it is probably a good idea to have a discussion about the need for incident radio communications. Let’s put aside the issues surrounding UAS airspace conflict for a moment. If the public safety UAS pilot is flying at a newsworthy incident they will also have ... Read More »

Human Location Isotherm Settings Using DJI FLIR XT Camera on a Matrice 210

As the Wake Forest Fire Department UAS pilot, one of the issues I have to face is dealing with an unplanned event and flying the incident on short notice but provide optimum data gathering abilities and mission accomplishment. I wish my flights had the luxury of being on the schedule but when the call comes in, I have to go. ... Read More »

Colorado Public Safety Drone Team Leads the Way for Many

The Larimer County Unmanned Aircraft Systems (LCUAS) team out of Colorado took some time to answer a number of questions regarding their public safety drone operations. A big thank you to Kerry Koppes from the Poudre Fire Authority ion Fort Collins, Colorado for helping to educate all of us. Q: When did you launch your fire department UAS program and ... Read More »

A Look at Search and Rescue Drones in Action and Measured Results

In just a few years, civilian drone technology has revolutionized a wide range of pursuits – from adventure photography and filmmaking to agriculture, construction, science, infrastructure inspection and more. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) allow people to accomplish tasks faster, more efficiently, at a lower cost, and in many cases more safely than in the past. Yet the most consequential use ... Read More »

4 Things Every Fire Department Drone Pilot Should Think About On the Way to the Call

As always, my approach to flying Unmanned Aircraft Systems or drone for the fire department may be different than yours. Additionally my frame of reference is modified because I am an aircraft pilot first so my approach is obviously slanted towards aircraft operations and flight in the National Air Space. I am not the holder of the universal truth on ... Read More »