Private Drones Delay Firefighters From Deploying Helicopters To Save Burning People

Jul 18, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Private Drones Delay Firefighters From Deploying Helicopters To Save Burning People

Jul 18, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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There is no doubt that drones have brought some otherwise inaccessible news, but with that aerial access comes the dangers of uncontrolled airspace.

Southern California is suffering from a pretty wide fire and airplanes and Helicopters have been deployed to fight the fire. Specifically, some of the worst incidents are happening around Cajon Pass where a house and several cars were burnt.

After being deployed the aircrafts were forced to land after 5 drones were sighted.

Officials told NBC LA that two of the five drones were actually following air units and causing significant delays on the rescue operations:

Two drones actually gave chase to air units, and the incident delayed response by about 15 to 20 minutes, according to Battalion Chief Marc Peebles of San Bernardino County Fire Department

But before landing, the air units needed to dump their load in water instead of where it was needed.

John Miller of U.S. Forest Service explained to NBC LA how dangerous it can be:

It can kill our firefighters in the air … They can strike one of these things and one of our aircraft could go down, killing the firefighters in the air. This is serious to us. It is a serious, not only life threat, not only to our firefighters in the air, but when we look at the vehicles that were overrun by fire, it was definitely a life-safety threat to the motorists on Interstate 15

San Bernardino’s fire department tweeted a warning poster to warn drone operators of the hazard they became, but still drones have been interfering with rescue forces 3 times in only the last month.

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If you recall, a drone was removed from a gas explosion scene in NYC last year in what was considered then as a controversial move from NYPD. This just shows us that regulation is definitely not there yet.

[via gizmodo | nbclosangeles, lead image from NBC LA’s video]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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15 responses to “Private Drones Delay Firefighters From Deploying Helicopters To Save Burning People”

  1. David Howland Avatar
    David Howland

    except instead of “people” it was cars and homes. Basically the same thing though.

  2. Kay O. Sweaver Avatar
    Kay O. Sweaver

    They need net canons to knock these things out of the sky.

    1. Ross Avatar
      Ross

      It would be nice to see these drones taken out in some way but just like computers & viruses the end user has to go to extra effort & cost just to just use their system without interference from all the viruses & hacks & similarly the fire fighting/rescue aircraft from selfish, unthinking (or straight out arrogant) drone users. Obviously the laws need to be toughened with appropriately tough penalties for such misguided & careless use of the drones. They should be faced with criminal action in these cases & be open to being sued for costs by legitimately affected parties.

  3. CJ Jacobs Avatar
    CJ Jacobs

    Shoot ’em down!

  4. Tod Heckert Avatar
    Tod Heckert

    what a bunch of bull…

  5. Jason Starr Avatar
    Jason Starr

    Which part?

  6. Eric Jaakkola Avatar
    Eric Jaakkola

    Most drones weigh less than a large bird. While hitting one would cause some damage, risk to the airframe itself is doubtful. These planes are not flying 250kts dumping water and the drones are incredibly fragile.

    1. Rex Deaver Avatar
      Rex Deaver

      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=planes+damaged+by+bird+collisions

      Your ignorance of physics is unmatched.

      1. Eric Jaakkola Avatar
        Eric Jaakkola

        As I said, they’re not flying at 250kts

        1. George Salt Avatar
          George Salt

          Eric, the turbine blades in the engines of the proper aircraft are spinning just as quickly as ever. It doesn’t matter how fast the drone is being flown if it gets ingested into the engine.

          1. Eric Jaakkola Avatar
            Eric Jaakkola

            They’re not flying jets, they’ll be turboprops. There would be some damage, but these retail drones are not going to knock a plane out of the sky. If lives were actually at stake; not flying because some 2 or 3 pound drones is pretty weak.

            I’m not saying the drone operation was smart, but they’re overreacting to the risk .

            They accept the risk of birdstrike.

  7. Rex Deaver Avatar
    Rex Deaver

    One more nail in the coffin of personal drones. Stupid people, acting stupidly, will eventually get them banned.

  8. Eric Jaakkola Avatar
    Eric Jaakkola

    Most drones weigh less than a large bird. While hitting one would cause some damage, risk to the airframe itself is doubtful. These planes are not flying 250kts dumping water and the drones are incredibly fragile.

  9. Don Pierson Avatar
    Don Pierson

    Private drones have NO business taking pictures or video in areas like this during rescue attempts! I understand they are cool and get great airial shots, but come one let the emergency workers do their work without interruption