New Brunswick

Drone is Dieppe Fire Department's newest recruit

The Dieppe Fire Department has become one of the first in Atlantic Canada to use a drone and officials believe it will help increase safety.

$3,500 remote-controlled flying machine, equipped with camera, will increase safey, says official

RAW: Dieppe fire drone

8 years ago
Duration 2:23
The Dieppe Fire Department's newest recruit is a drone, one of the first to be used by firefighters in New Brunswick.

The Dieppe Fire Department has a new recruit — a drone.

Division Chief Marc Cormier says they are one of the first fire departments in Atlantic Canada to use one.

The Dieppe Fire Department paid about $3,500 for the drone. (Tori Weldon/CBC)
The remote-controlled flying vehicle, which cost about $3,500 and is equipped with a camera, can be used for everything from monitoring forest fires, to investigating accidents and hazardous waste spills, he said.

"For example we had a fire recently, an apartment fire in Dieppe, it could have been deployed that night," said Cormier. "It could have given us a huge advantage, especially where to position our ladders, or fire streams."

Cormier has been practising flying the drone every day for the last few months.

He says the first rule he learned about operating the 10-kilogram machine that has four propellers is to stay focused.

Dieppe Fire Department Division Chief Marc Cormier has been practising flying the drone every day and says it takes focus. (Tori Weldon/CBC)
"Don't mind what's going on around you, you have to keep your eyes on the drone at all times."

Cormier is one of three operators from the fire department approved by Transport Canada, and each time the drone is flown, the Moncton airport is notified.

Cormier learned how to fly the drone from Marc LeBlanc, a drone enthusiast.

LeBlanc is a local photographer, who uses drones to capture pictures for businesses that need an "eye in the sky" such as realtors, and tourism operators.

"Off to the side we do work with search and rescue teams, and now fire departments, to give them that technology," he said.

LeBlanc thinks drones will be used increasingly in emergency situations. They are already gaining popularity in the United States and starting to make their way north.

"It's quite a neat piece of technology, this has only occurred in the last couple of years that it's taken off, so to speak."