The AirMed&Rescue and Erickson firefighting roundtable, profiling the latest developments in aerial firefighting, is now available to watch.
AirMed&Rescue invited three experts in their fields to discuss the challenges the aerial firefighting industry is facing, with more extreme fire events causing more damage to homes and business in North America. How technology is being applied to the problem is vital – from how Erickson has invested millions of dollars in its S-64 Air Crane to make it more powerful and more efficient, to how Dauntless Air are enhancing safety and efficacy of its Fireboss fleet, and the ways in which Intterra can share data between ground and aerial firefighters to enable quicker response times and ensure the maximum force multiplier effect. Innovation, and further investment in technological solutions, are key to how aerial firefighting operations continue to develop their offerings and enhance the services they are able to offer to governments around the world.
In the roundtable, Jeff Baxter, Senior Director of Research and Development at Erickson, Brett L’Esperance, CEO of Dauntless Air, and Brian Collins, CEO of Intterra, discuss the most groundbreaking current and future adaptations to aircraft and mutual aid approaches within aerial firefighting.
AirMed&Rescue's Editorial team highlighted some key discussion points, these include:
- Composite materials in firefighting aircraft
“[The Kelvar-carbon fibre composite blades] make a massive improvement to the airframe. It’s like adding a whole new wing to an aircraft that has 20-30 years of technology advancement in it.”
- The aircraft as an evolving piece of technology
“The benefits to the aircraft have been phenomenal. The aircraft lifts more, it flies smoother and conserves more energy, it doesn’t burn as much fuel. And that benefit is augmented in this firefighting environment.”
- On-site scooper effectiveness
“The real value of a scooper like the Fire Boss is that it can leave loaded, drop that load on a fire, and find a scoop of water within 10-15 miles […] It never needs to go back to base to reload.”
- Infrared capabilities
“[Moving infrared] into the HUD allows our pilots to keep his eyes outside of the cockpit, looking at the fire and improving his situational awareness.”
- The value of collective action
“There is a continuous improvement culture. That’s why the three of us are on the call […] The trend of the industry to move towards contracts that are oriented to be lowest cost and technically available.”
- The digital era
“We’ve taken both the data and interoperability and we’re creating knowledge for our firefighters on the ground, the ability to see where all our resources are in real time.”