ND fire dept. experiments with drone use

At the North Dakota International Association of Arson Investigators conference, the Grand Forks Fire Department used drones to gather data from a controlled burn

By FireRescue1 Staff

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — A fire department experimented with drone use at a statewide event.

Inforum reported that the Grand Forks Fire Department hosted the North Dakota International Association of Arson Investigators conference and used a controlled burn of a shipping container to test drone use while firefighters and investigators from all over the state participated.

Drones from the University of North Dakota’s aerospace department were used to gather data after the burn as a first step to test if the technology would be beneficial to the fire department, according to Fire Marshal Rodney Freitag.

Three drones flew above the fire after it started to analyze air quality and take video.

"Anything that can help document a fire is a benefit," Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Fire Investigator Chad Campanell said.

UND Professor Paul Snyder said the technology is “going to create more questions and get people’s creative juices flowing.”

"We're all still learning, but this was a huge success," Snyder said. "I want to introduce this to students as soon as we can in the curriculum."

Fire Chief Gary Lorenz said the department could very well utilize drones in their response teams in the future.

"I'm pumped," Freitag said. "This opened a door for what we can accomplish in the future, maybe we'll have one of our own soon."


The IAAI investigation burn was conducted today at the Grand Forks Fire Department class A burn structure. Grand Forks...

Posted by Grand Forks Fire Department on Thursday, September 20, 2018


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