Fire service introduces cutting-edge drones stationed in Leighton Buzzard

One of the new drones takes to the skies. Image: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.One of the new drones takes to the skies. Image: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
One of the new drones takes to the skies. Image: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Cutting-edge drone technology based in Leighton Buzzard will help save lives.

The new equipment will be deployed by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS), who say the drones will offer "a range of critical services".

This will include live streaming of building fires and outdoor blazes with thermal imaging, missing person search and rescue operations, and overviews of incident scenes, including hazardous material and terrorism scenarios. The drones will also aid in fire investigations, aerial photography for training exercises, and building inspections.

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One unit will be stationed in Leighton Buzzard, alongside a smaller drone for indoor operations. A second unit will be based in Harrold, near Bedford.

BFRS said: "The new drones meet the rigorous demands of fire and rescue operations as well as being suitable for supporting police in missing person searches.

"Integration with GoodSAM, a world-wide video streaming platform designed for the emergency services, enables seamless footage streaming to stakeholders for swift decision-making during emergencies."

The new units are 'DJI Mavic 3 Thermal Enterprise Drones (DJI 3T)', which will operate a 40-minute flight time, per battery. Each boasts a 4K camera featuring a 56x zoom on a stabilised gimbal, as well as a thermal image camera.

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The equipment will be operated by highly trained remote pilots, certified under a commercial license through the Beds, Cambs Police and Fire consortium.

Crew Commander Liam Common, a drone operator at Leighton Buzzard Fire Station, said: “This new investment in drone technology and our partnerships with police teams in terms of training and operational delivery, shows our commitment to finding innovative solutions to better serve the community.”