Superior Police Demonstrate Drone Used in Battling Refinery Fire

Ryan Juntti
Updated: May 09, 2018 10:42 PM

SUPERIOR - The Superior Police Department provided an inside look into how one of their drones was used to battle the Husky Oil Refinery Fire.


The drone has only been used by the department since November, and is usually used in major crime scenes to gather aerial footage. 

In the case of the Husky Oil Refinery Fire, the thick black smoke from the refinery made it very difficult to attack the fire. 

The drone has a 4K camera, and helped Husky's Emergency Response Team, and the Superior Fire Department figure out exactly what kind of fire they were dealing with.

"We were able to fly the drone, get a nice aerial shot of what we were looking at in terms of the size of the fire, what the damage was, and if maybe any other dangers existed that sending actual firefighting personnel into would not be ideal," said Officer Bradley Jago, Superior Police Department.  

That was the turning point, as they were then able to figure out exactly what kind of fire they were dealing with. 

The drone is operated using a remote control, and there are also goggles with it that allow the user to see exactly what footage the drone is capturing. The goggles control the movement of the camera by the head movements of the person that's wearing them.

Jago estimates it costs between $1,200 and $1,500 for the remote control, goggles, and drone.  

 Jago doesn't know what the outcome of the fire would've been had it not been for the drone, but says it definitely helped with being able to attack the fire.

"In terms of keeping firefighters safe, this was instrumental in developing a plan, a quick plan of attack," said Jago.

The drone has been used by the Superior Police Department in 11 other instances, according to Jago.

Jago says the department hopes to get a drone in the future with a zoom, and thermal camera to assist in search and rescue missions.


Ryan Juntti

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