FDNY demonstrates drones used in emergency situations at first responder conference

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Friday, May 5, 2023
FDNY demonstrates drones used in emergency situation
Eyewitness News got an up-close demonstration of drones that first responders can use in emergency situations.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Eyewitness News got an up-close demonstration of drones that first responders can use during large-scale emergencies.

Last month the FDNY put the technology to good use during the Ann Street building collapse showing just how critical these lifesaving tools can be.

When firefighters couldn't go in a drone went up giving them a bird's eye view of the scene.

The FDNY gave us a closer look as they showed off their massive drone fleet during the Search and Rescue Field Medicine Symposium, a conference that brings first responders from all over the U.S. and ten other countries.

"All of our technology is meant to give our members situational awareness, let them know what they're going into, let us assess the danger ahead of time," FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanaugh said.

As the largest fire department in the country, the FDNY has more than 40 drones in its fleet, each with unique capabilities.

Firefighters demonstrated a scenario to show the capabilities of one of its drones. A firefighter role-played as a victim with the drone hovering above.

It feeds back a thermal scan and relays his body temperature while showing first responders in real time the extent of injuries on the ground.

"When we do triage we are looking for a few things, we're looking to see are they alert, are they bleeding, are there any major bleeds, things like that we can see from the drone unit," one FDNY member said.

But as much as the demonstration was about the technology currently being used, the fire department says it's excited to debut new tools soon.

"We are trying to do research on if this is something where we can bring blood or blood products to the scene of major disasters," FDNY Assistant Chief of MES Operations Cesar Escobar said.

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