Bushfires are a constant threat to communities across Australia each summer. The Black Saturday Fires of 2009, the worst in recent history, claimed the lives of 173 people. That year, Australia saw social media come of age with emergency services and the media using it as much as concerned citizens to spread important information about the unfolding tragedy.
This year the state of New South Wales with fires raging across much of the state. Civil Drones posted a video of a drone capturing footage of a fire near the town of Lithgow this week and it has since been widely circulated online.
As much as the video highlights the potential for media outlets to use drones in emergency situations, it raises the regulation and issues around drones themselves getting in the way of emergency crews.
YouTube user Pamuva RAL comments:
Great footage, nicely edited, but please be careful when using it around emergency aircraft operating at low level. As a pilot myself, im concerned it will only be a matter of time before a drone takes down a real aircraft.
Though if using the drone while in communication with emergency services and aircrews, then im all for its use. or even using it as an aid to search and rescue.
Can media outlets or other contractors work with emergency services to coordinate such a solution?