Toledo Police Deploy Drone Team For Chemical Fire
The Toledo Police Department recently deployed their drone unit for the first time in the field at a lithium fire near downtown Toledo, Ohio. We captured the included photos and video the next day during an on-scene assessment.
"Employees were processing lithium when it separated and spilled out, causing the fire"Lithium Innovations CEO Ford Cauffiel
On March 2, 2017, the Toledo Police Department deployed their drone team to a large-scale industrial fire at Lithium Innovations on Campbell St. in Toledo, Ohio. In cooperation with Toledo Fire & Rescue Department, officers piloted their UAVs around the scene to help firefighters assess the situation from the air. They also worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to mount air quality tests on one of the drones and take it up through the smoke plume to assess toxicity levels of the fire. With the help of those test results, the EPA made the decision to evacuate residents and employees from nearby neighborhoods and businesses.
After much training and test flight scenarios, the Toledo Police drone team was very effective and successful during the first time they were called upon operate in the field. The officers drew compliments from Toledo Fire for their assistance, as well as Police Chief George Kral, who took to Facebook shortly thereafter to praise the drone team for gaining valuable evidence on scene and helping to keep firefighters safe.
The TPD drone unit conducts regular training where they practice procedures to help make real-life operations run smoother and more efficiently. Each officer on the team is FAA Part 107 certified, abides by FAA regulations, and as an additional precaution, utilize visual observers during their operations.
TPD recently became one of the first three public safety departments in the region to create a drone unit, along with Oregon Police Division and Oregon Fire Department. All three departments worked with Toledo Aerial Media over the last several months to integrate drones and train existing personnel in their agencies to operate them safely. Toledo Aerial Media’s Public Safety Drone Training is designed to create effective drone pilots who are ready quickly deploy and assist with a variety of scenarios such as search & rescue, monitoring, accident mapping, thermal imaging, and more. Additional information on Public Safety Drone Training can be found here.
Toledo Aerial Media is an Ohio-based company providing a variety of drone services (photography, videography, 360° immersive content, mapping, inspections, thermal imaging, consulting, and training) to clients around the United States.