From Livestreaming To 3D Mapping, Tulsa Fire Dept. Looks To Expand Drone Program

The Tulsa Fire Department wants to expand its drone program to take advantage of new and more advanced technology.

Tuesday, July 18th 2023, 4:59 pm

By: News On 6, Matt Rahn


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The Tulsa Fire Department wants to expand its drone program to take advantage of new and more advanced technology.

Drone Technology is constantly changing, that's why the Tulsa Fire Department is using the expertise of a Tulsa company to get the most out of their drone program. Drone Pilot Gabriel Graveline says it's a great tool to have.

"I like having a niche where I can contribute and feel like I'm providing a resource to the team and making a difference," says Graveline.

He has hundreds of hours of flying experience and says the uses for drones are nearly endless.

"If there's a child who's autistic and ran away and is out in the field somewhere or something like that, we can actually spot their heat signature and help to locate them quicker," Graveline says.

TFD recently tested this drone that can break through windows and search disaster zones. The Department also partnered with Airwise Solutions, a Tulsa company that specializes in drone technology.

"This technology changes almost daily and so it gets outdated very quickly, but by having our partners in our backyard we're able to kind of upgrade and keep up with technology and be on the forefront," says Graveline.

Airwise helps TFD with live-streaming drone videos and creating highly detailed 3D maps.

"There's a lot of good data, but it's hard to aggregate and it's hard to put into a way that's meaningful and helpful, so making that is the key," says CTO Josh O'Leary.

He also wants to help the department implement a new system that would allow drones to take off autonomously and get to a scene before first responders.

"By doing that, you can actually get an eye in the sky right off the bat before responders arrive," says Graveline.

He says it would help protect the community they work hard to serve.

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