- Watch footage showing how the DJI M300 RTK/H20T provided vital situational awareness during a major warehouse fire;
- West Midlands Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team deployed the drone just days after completing heliguy™ CPD training;
- The CPD course included handover of the M300 RTK and dedicated emergency services drone tuition: Both of which were utilised during the fire;
- The drone footage - streamed live to incident commanders - provided a unique perspective, showing the scale of the fire and detecting hotspots;
- M300 RTK's enhanced performance extends the team's operational capabilities, including better thermal resolution and flying in rain.
Emergency service drone pilots deployed the DJI M300 RTK at a major warehouse fire to obtain vital situational awareness - just days after learning how to operate the aircraft during the heliguy™ CPD course.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) was called to assist Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service at the MCD Carpets facility in Kidderminster last week.
The drone - integrated with a H20T camera - was able to see through smoke to detect hotspots with thermal imagery and provided an oversight of the scale of the blaze with the visual camera. This aerial footage was streamed to incident commanders in real-time to shape data-driven decision-making.
Incredibly, it came less than a week after heliguy™ instructors delivered M300 RTK training to the HART team. This included a technical handover of the aircraft and dedicated emergency services tuition, as part of the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) course.
Ben Pallante, SUA Lead for WMAS HART, said: "The M300 RTK is an incredible drone, bolstering our operational capability. Thanks to the heliguy™ team, we were able to confidently deploy it at a live incident just a matter of days after the training."
Fighting Fires With Drones
The MCD Carpets warehouse blaze was another example of drones being used to help fight fires.
Ben said: "The fire was one of the biggest that Hereford & Worcester has done for a while. Our team attends these types of incidents to ensure the welfare of the firefighters and monitor the impact of the fire - and drones are vital for this.
"During the warehouse fire, the aerial view that the drone provided enabled us to look at the sheer size of the fire, the area it was covering, if it was spreading and detected hotspots - all while keeping crews away from the incident and streaming the data back to the fire services command vehicle.
"It also helped us monitor the direction and the size of the plume, and in this case, the local community was asked to keep windows closed, such was the magnitude of the smoke."
The M300 RTK is DJI's most powerful enterprise drone to date, with enhanced flight endurance, powerful payload array and upgraded IP45 weather-rating.
Ben said: "The M300 RTK is a great aircraft and the H20T is an excellent camera - with high-resolution thermal and zoom in one sensor. The ability to view both on the same screen at the same time was a big advantage during the fire.
"We've previously used the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual - and we were blown away with it when it came out - but the H20T provides superior thermal resolution, which is a big advantage.
"The M300 RTK's ability to fly in wet weather is also significant, expanding the operational window and giving us a capability to deploy in the rain which we haven't had previously. The Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual changed our world, but the M300 RTK is on another level and is the best thing since sliced bread."
heliguy™ CPD Course For The Emergency Services
The heliguy™ CPD course is designed to provide continued learning for pilot teams who already hold their drone qualifications, covering advanced flight training, exemptions and legislation updates. In turn, this helps to further enhance pilot competency and capability and maintain an optimal level of safety and service provision.
It also provides the chance for crews to bolster their fleet and get to grips with the latest drone hardware, to keep innovation at the centre of drone programmes.
The syllabus for WMAS HART focused on a range of operational best practises, such as advanced ATTI mode manoeuvres, photography, thermography and night operations. It also included a handover of the M300 RTK and aircraft-specific training.
Ben said: "The CPD course, geared towards the emergency services, was hugely beneficial, providing best practices for mission response and helping us master the M300 RTK, its cameras and workflows.
"Then, just days later, we took what we learnt on the course and deployed it at a live incident. The tuition was extremely valuable and we are extremely grateful for the training and the M300 RTK handover."
heliguy™ instructors Mark Blaney and Jack Sharp led the CPD course for WMAS HART. They said: "The HART team was great to train and took everything onboard. That they were putting this into action during a real-world emergency less than a week later shows the value of the course, the importance of drones and the benefit of continued learning and innovation to ensure operational best practices."
heliguy™ has provided closed-course industry-specific training for more than 30 UK emergency services, including London Fire Brigade. Find out more about our drone training provision here.
Growing An Emergency Services Drone Programme
WMAS HART has been using drones since the end of 2018/start of 2019, scaling the team to 14 pilots, and with a view to doubling this by spring 2022.
The team has utilised the DJI Inspire 2 and Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual, before adding the powerful M300 RTK to the fleet.
Ben said: "A lot of our drone work is based around water rescues. Drones provide the ability to cover large areas quickly during searches and mean that we don't have to put staff into the water or risk zone, all while giving the crews a complete oversight of the situation they are dealing with."
To find out more about how heliguy™ can support your drone programme - through hardware supply/support, consultancy, drone training, and in-house repairs - contact us.