Civilian drones and aerial imaging technology provider DJI has announced a Solution Development Partnership with the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) that will see DJI drone technology created, tested and deployed as an emergency response and preparedness tool.
To date, the agency has flown over 175 incident-related missions, including hot spot identification and aerial mapping to help manage wildfire response, as well as incident response for swift water rescues, hazmat operations and urban search and rescue missions. The missions use DJI’s industrial aerial platforms, including the Matrice 200 Series, Matrice 600 Series and Phantom 4 Pro drones equipped with visual and thermal imagining cameras that provide real-time video and data transmission to incident commanders.
Bill Chen, Enterprise Partnerships Manager at DJI said: “Through our two-way collaboration, DJI will receive valuable insight into the complexities of deploying drones for emergency situations in one of the most complex urban environments in the nation.”
The partnership will also provide the LAFD with access to new technologies, as well as training and support from DJI. Furthermore, the insight which this provides will enable DJI to continue to develop new, and more honed technologies that will allow the LAFD and leading public safety agencies around the world to ‘gain more value from life-saving drone technology,’ added Chen.
LAFD Battalion Chief Richard Fields commented: “The LAFD has been working through a pragmatic approach to adopting drone technology for several years, including developing policies and procedures that define clear use-case scenarios and building awareness among the general public about the positive life- and property-saving benefits drone technology can provide to our firefighters in their mission to protect the citizens of Los Angeles.” Fields noted that the partnership between DJI and LAFD gives the fire department access to ‘cutting edge developments from the world’s leading provider of drone technology’, and he added that this included drones that are equipped with thermal cameras, which help give incident commanders a ‘real-time birds-eye perspective’.
“The LAFD’s growing drone programme makes them part of over 910 public safety organisations across the US that are deploying drones for life saving activities,” said Romeo Durscher, Director of Public Safety Integration at DJI. “While the LAFD programme shows how drones can succeed when operated within expansive, urban areas by a large department, drone technology is valuable to municipalities of any size.”
Chief Fields finished: “Combining advanced drone technology with new software tools will help bridge the gap between helicopters and firefighters on the ground, allowing us to address life-threatening situations faster and more effectively than ever before.”