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The Role Of Drones In Emergency Response

Posted: 28/02/2018

Disaster recovery plans are increasingly including drones, due to their safety profile and ability to reach areas that were previously inaccessible.

Now Suffolk is the latest county to employ two unmanned drones that can be used by local emergency services when and were needed.

The multi-agency Air Support Unit has cost a total of £42,500 and will be used by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue and Norfolk & Suffolk 4×4 Response.

They have already been used in Suffolk, including when tackling fire blazes, but also for taking aerial photography shots of the surrounding area, to feedback information to the emergency services.

Despite some fears that they could be used to replace staff, Suffolk Police have argued that they will be used alongside existing crime fighting efforts, and they actually require 17 trained staff to control them.

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner, commented he was “very proud to see our two blue light services working together on another successful project”.

“This innovative drone technology will provide another useful tool for the Constabulary in their fight against crime and I am very pleased to see the police and partners developing new ways of working together to improve the service we provide to the people of Suffolk.”

They will be based in Woodbridge Fire Station, a site relatively central to the rest of Suffolk, and close to a number of other towns and villages in the Suffolk area.