Drones used to recon floodwaters - VIDEO - Lismore

Published: 05 Mar 2022 02:37pm

For the first time in a flood emergency, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is using Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), or drones, as reconnaissance units to assess floodwater hazards and warn "In-water" rescue teams.

FRNSW has deployed "In-water" rescue teams to disaster zones as part of the State Emergency Service-led Flood response effort.

These Fire and Rescue teams, working jointly with SES crews, have carried out hundreds of rescues in the past few days.

As they travel through the floodwaters, the rescue crews are encountering a range of hazards, many of them submerged.

The RPAS's are being used as 'aerial reconnaissance units,' deployed ahead of the flood boats to advise rescuers about how to reach stranded residents quicker and identify safe pathways to high ground.

The aerial units, capable of thermal detection, are picking up heat signatures from people and animals in floodwaters and can relay highly valuable situational images to Fire and Rescue Command Centres in the flood zones.

The drones are also able to detect people sheltering too close to dangerous, water-logged solar power panels on rooftops during this crisis.

The RPAS's are also being flown across the Greater Sydney Area, providing firefighters with "Rapid Damage Assessments."

The inspection flights are providing crucial images relating to dams, bridges, water treatment facilities and roads.

(For media: this linked video has been filmed today above Lismore for reconnaissance use, and through the Hawkesbury-Nepean area.)
https://vimeo.com/684837031/0c7c19d189 [external link]

Updated: 30 Jan 2023 09:14pm

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Details about this incident may change and should not be used as emergency information and/or advice.

For all life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)

For flood information, warnings or requests for non-life threatening assistance, call the SES on 132 500 or visit the NSW State Emergency Service website here. [external link].

For information directly relating to bushfires please call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737 or visit the NSW Rural Fire Service Website here. [external link]

Stations nearby

LISMORE Fire Station

139-141 Molesworth Street, Lismore NSW 2480


13 Taylor Avenue, Goonellabah NSW 2480


1 Mellis Circuit, Alstonville NSW 2477