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Drone approved for NB fire department

City council voted in favor of purchase of all-weather drone and accompanying software which can be used for variety of purposes.
NB City Hall 2
City council supports a drone purchase for the fire department.

NORTH BATTLEFORD -  City council has given their stamp of approval to the purchase of a new drone for the North Battleford Fire Department.

At their meeting Monday night, Council voted in favour of the recommendation that administration be authorized to purchase a DJI Matrice 30T Drone from Kelly's Computer Works in the amount of $18,428.94 Canadian including taxes, as well as PIX4Dmapper software from PIX4D in the amount of $5990 US excluding taxes, duty or import fees.

According to a memo to council, the drone equipment is fitted with infrared cameras for thermal imaging to assist in missing persons searches, and also detect heat and signatures for fires. It can also read train container markings in a derailment situation so that emergency personnel aren’t put in harms way. 

It can also be used for such things as roof, bridge and Water Tower inspections as well as land surveying for 3D mapping. It is touted as significantly reducing time for those tasks to take place.

Fire Chief Lindsay Holm told council that he wasn’t just looking for this for the fire department alone — there were “a number of different things we can utilize this drone for within the City.” 

Humboldt Fire had the same drone and came down to North Battleford to give a demonstration of its uses “It is absolutely amazing,” said Holm. 

He said the Humboldt Fire Chief took them to King Hill where they did a topographical survey of King Hill with the drone and using the software. “It was done in no time flat,” he said.

The drone and the relevant mapping software is to be purchased out of the $71,728.36 surplus remaining from revenue generated from the NBFD’s assistance to other communities.

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