Southern Manatee Fire Rescue’s HazMat team got to take part in Radiation detection/monitoring using the DJI M200 drone. Utilizing real radioactive material, thanks to the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control, we were able to attach our Canberra Ultraradiac Personal Monitor to the drone and obtain not only the labeling in the packaging but detect its Rem output. Southern Manatee’s progressive approach to HazMat response utilizing drones has created a pathway for critical information to be gathered without placing firefighters in harms way. During the scenario, the simulated vehicle accident left radioactive material scattered throughout the scene. Utilizing the drone with a radiation detection device attached to it, we were able to quickly and accurately identify the individual packages and determine whether each package was leaking radiation based on the meter readings. The Florida Bureau of Radiation Control representatives were thoroughly impressed with our use of drones in our HazMat response.
Southern Manatee continues to pave the way in how fire departments will respond to specialized emergencies in the future. Our commitment to forward thinking, and innovative technologies, is what keeps our firefighters safe and our community even safer.