LAFD Unmanned Aerial System "Drone" Demonstration

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Los Angeles - Implementing the latest technology to increase firefighter safety and operational effectiveness, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) made their first official incident-based flight during the Skirball Fire.

Today the LAFD provided a media demonstration of the UAS, better known as drones.  The above footage was captured during the drone flight.


After completing the steps required in obtaining a federal certificate authorization to own and operate UAS, the LAFD turned to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation for a grant to purchase four drones.

The LAFD drone fleet consists of two DJI Matrice 100s and two DJI Phantom 4 Pros.  One Matrice 100 is equipped with a HD camera for area survey and the second Matrice 100 has Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) to assess hotspots.


The LAFD is very sensitive to the concerns regarding privacy and adheres to the following criteria:

  • The UAS will not be used to monitor or provide surveillance for law enforcement purposes
  • The UAS will only be operated by trained, certified and licensed members in both operational and observational capacities.
  • UAS operators will be focused on protecting firefighters and those the Department serves either through training or at active incidents.


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