Emerging aviation technologies are improving emergency service delivery across Australia. Traditional emergency responses have been dangerous, uncertain and slow for both those in trouble and first responders alike.
NSW Fire and Rescue are using drones for rapid damage assessment of dams, bridges, water treatment facilities and roads after floods or fires.
In a flood emergency, the drones can identify potential hazards and debris to improve safety for rescue teams and increase response times.
Aerial units capable of thermal detection can pick up heat signatures from people and animals in floodwaters and identify if anyone is sheltering too close to dangerous, water-logged solar power panels on rooftops. This information is relayed to command centres in real time.
Drones have also been used to rescue injured wildlife after a bushfire. Together with a search and rescue dog and koala catching crew, drones help identify the heat signature of koalas which are often well camouflaged.