Thursday, September 24, 2015

Drones, cameras, outfits: firefighters equipped for the future – South West


ehicles remotely controlled, thermal cameras, drones … So many gear that, little by little, are emerging in the barracks and who, according to professionals sector will play in the coming years, a real role in the fight against fires.

And, in the aisles of the national congress of firefighters, held in Agen until Saturday, we do not make a mistake: among the 300 exhibitors, many those with devices that some describe as futuristic. Yet no possible doubt that red drone resistant to snow, rain, winds of 70 km / h and temperatures of 65 ° C is indeed real.

The drone,” created for firefighters, “resistant to rain, wind and can fly in clouds and dust. Photo © M. R.

On sale since March with Aeraccess, a young startup born ten months ago, the unit “was created for firefighters” , provides Olivier Jeannot, manager France: “He has three cameras, one day / night, thermal and laser pointer allows to geotag someone at a distance a kilometer. ” Already used in Britain, the IP67 could soon make its appearance in the Bouches-du-Rhône where the county fire and rescue service (SDIS) – already using drones – the would test, including As part of its monitoring activity:

From the watchtowers, firefighters realize the smoke, it means that the fire is gone. With a drone, it saves time … and therefore, potentially, it saves lives

In addition to the prevention, detection, new technologies may also avoiding human commitment on a disaster area. The Andalusian Iturri Group has designed a vehicle that can be controlled remotely. This large-capacity tanker (CCGC), classical in appearance, is equipped with sensors and cameras that allow it to be almost autonomous.

“These are only the beginnings”

“A firefighter can lead to the site and then passed in drone mode, Tocan explains Hervé, president of the group in France. He then exits the vehicle and the driver with a handle. He can attack the fire distance while viewing the area on his tablet or computer. We can imagine applications in parking lots, on nuclear power lights or tunnel … In short, whenever a man will be exposed . ” And Hervé Tocan assures, “these are just the beginnings.” His company is also working on the design of a smaller craft, “the size of a big quad,” which could move continuously: “We are still in the research phase” Proof. , so that developments are still expected.

The technology also puts vehicles in service: today there are remote controllable gear Photo © M.. R.

Firefighters may also rely on other innovations. Cameras, thermal or transmission of data, are becoming more sophisticated. flame resistant and can be fixed on the helmet , the latter including a GPS function that, at any time, to locate wearer. Communications systems, protective helmets, clothing, digital mapping … are all areas where technology takes an ever greater role. Developments increasingly numerous and increasingly sophisticated whose secrets would still unfold in the years and decades to come.

Helmets, masks and garments are also equipped with the latest technologies. © Photo M. . R

One point, however, could still curb firefighters: price. In August 2014, when it is equipped with two drones, electrical and thermal, SDIS 13 had to pay 130,000 euros for one, 300,000 euros for each other.


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