Firefighting by drone: The Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (SDIS) of the Bouches du Rhône signs agreement for Delair drones to optimize its rescue and firefighting operations.
Labège, France – January 19, 2018 – Delair, a leading provider of drone solutions for commercial industries, today announced an agreement with the principle fire and rescue service in France’s Bouches du Rhône region. The Departmental Fire and Rescue Services (SDIS) for Departement 13 will use Delair’s DT18 fixed-wing drones, the first civil drones in the world to have received the required certification for beyond visual line-of-sight operations (BVLOS). Capable of flying over 100 km (62 miles), the DT18s acquired by the SDIS 13 will be used for reconnaissance missions and monitoring zones affected by forest fires.
Less expensive than a helicopter flight and less dangerous and faster than sending firefighters, the Delair drones are well suited for the requirements of challenging operations. Equipped with very high resolution visual and thermal sensors, the Delair drones will allow firefighters from SDIS 13 to cover large geographical areas and expand their response capabilities.
“These drones complement and augment the work of our firefighters, allowing us to reduce our reaction and decision-making times,” explains Commander Eric Rodriguez of SDIS 13. “The unique expertise of the Delair drones in beyond visual line of sight flights, combined with the necessary industrial quality required for our needs, makes them a partner of choice for enhancing our reconnaissance operations. In addition to the aerial viewing capabilities for real-time monitoring, the accuracy of the data collected will enable us to significantly reduce the risk of fire and increase our visibility in the most inaccessible areas. “
As part of the agreement Delair will train certified SDIS pilots on the easy-to-use operations of the drones. This includes instruction on complying with French regulation for BVLOS flights. In France, firefighters, like any other long-distance drone operator, coordinate their operations with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC). The DT 18 drone from Delair has the proven ability to cover more than 100 km (62 miles), and can be equipped with a pre-programmed flight plan and controlled via a 3G cellular network (it established a world record distance of 50 km (31 miles) in 2017 while monitoring the high voltage lines of French utility company RTE).
“We are proud of this partnership with SDIS 13, which is a forerunner in the use of technology for civil security,” said Michael de Lagarde, co-founder and CEO of Delair. “The potential of drones in rescue operations is immense. They can also be activated during floods, sea or land pollution, or in industrial fire zones. We hope to be able to extend our collaboration to other civil and commercial operators of emergency services.”