This is the ground view of the chopper video we posted earlier today from Thursday’s RV and house fire in Jurupa Valley, California. The videographer is our friend Capt. Joe Schmoe of the blog Report on Conditions (you can actually see Joe at 11:17 in the helicopter video). Capt. Joe tells us the fire was in the City of Riverside and sent us the following info:
Fire was actually in the city of Riverside, crew was a county engine covering a RIV station due to the brush fire.
… those were actually drops from a police dept. helicopter (Hughes 500D). The IC at the riverbottom brush fire was only marginally aware of this fire and the arriving crews didn’t know it was coming.
I’m not sure if the air unit unit was requested to drop, or whether it did so on it’s own, but I can tell you that the first drop bought some time for the bravo side exposure.
The crews actually did a pretty good job as they were met with some challenging conditions.
On Thursday, a news helicopter covering brush fires threatening homes in Jurupa Valley, California spotted another fire about a quarter mile away. This turned out to be a burning RV that soon spread to the home where it was parked. On the video above you will see the first firefighters arrive around 10:45.
A brush fire broke out near homes in Jurupa Valley on Thursday, prompting evacuations and leaving nearly 2,000 residents without power.
The fire started at about 4:45 p.m. at Jurupa Regional Park near the Santa Ana riverbed at Rio Road and Calle Hermosa. The fire has burned approximately 150 acres and was 30 percent contained by 12:30 a.m. Friday. Riverside County Fire says crews will remain on scene through the night.
A parked recreational vehicle in the back yard of a residence caught fire about a quarter-mile from the brush fire. The RV fire was believed to have been sparked by floating embers carried from the brush fire.
The video above shows two views of a news helicopter crashing to the ground in front of firefighters east of Perth, Australia. It happened at the scene of a wreck involving the rollover of a truck on Saturday.
One view shows the perspective of the videographer aboard the chopper who was rolling on the way down and was thown from the wreckage. The other is from a camera on the ground. Both the pilot and cameraman Adam Delmage survived the crash with relatively minor injuries. The incident has been described as an emergency landing by the pilot.
Read about safety & privacy issues & drones: here, here, here, here & here (this article has the best summary of the rules & issues)
This is an interesting video from camerajumper1 of one of those radio controlled tiny helicopters mounted with a camera doing a fly by at a recent strip mall fire in Los Angeles County, California.
People like Patrick Sherman and his partners of Roswell Flight Test Crew (click here for all of their videos) are among those pushing this technology as a tool for public safety. Most of us can imagine the very positive uses of an eye in the sky like this. Just check out the video below where the Roswell folks attach a FLIR to the little chopper for a view of a wildland burn.
But what about the unannounced visitor over your fire scene? I have no idea if the IC at the strip mall fire knew there would be a flyover, but how would you react if you saw one with no warning? Would you see it as a threat? If it were a mass casualty incident or a crime scene would that impact your view of this and how you would handle the intrusion from above? Would it be any different than a TV news chopper flying at a much higher altitude?
I don’t have the answers to these questions and I am not sure anyone does at this point. But I can tell you this. If I was still in the TV news business I would be pushing my bosses to buy one. I can see many uses and not just for a breaking news event.
And, if I was a fire chief, I would be looking closely how I could use this technology as a tool in my arsenal.
A man is heard yelling “Get out! Get out!” in 911 tapes released Tuesday from the crash of a small experimental plane into a Florida grocery store that left five people injured.
Emergency dispatch tapes captured the panic as customers fled the store Monday evening. The plane plunged through the roof of a Publix supermarket in DeLand, about 40 miles north of Orlando.
“Publix is on fire!” a woman from inside the supermarket said in a 911 call. “The store is on fire! OK. We got to go.” Three customers were hurt, and two people aboard the plane were hospitalized in Orlando. All of the injuries came from burns, said Luke Schiada, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.
The amphibious Sea Wind 3000 plane encountered problems shortly after taking off from the DeLand Municipal Airport, less than two miles from the shopping center. Investigators weren’t sure where the plane was heading.
The plane is made of composite material and was amateur-built in 2002. It seats four people but only two people from Illinois were aboard, said Schiada, who didn’t identify them.
Fire consumed most of the plane, which plunged through the roof and landed between two aisles in the middle of the store. The plane didn’t have a black box but investigators may be able to use the plane’s GPS system to learn more about what happened, Schiada said.
This is a March, 24 fire in San Juan County, New Mexico. The video is from the FLIR (forward looking infrared) aboard the San County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. The camera operator swtiches back and forth between the infrared and the normal view.
The quadcopters — square machines about the size of a laptop computer with a helicopter rotor and landing gear on each corner — are part hobby and part business for Portlanders Patrick Sherman and Brian Zvaigzne. Ideally, they hope to someday see the machines used by firefighters and law enforcement.
Saturday, for example, the quadcopters were able to fly into the smoke above the burning building and provide real-time video images of the fire. A public relations officer for law enforcement, Sherman also sees a number of uses for police.
Nothing like determination. A Detroit firefighter trying to make the roof with a ground ladder on a front porch rides it down after the ladder pops out from under him. He picks himself up and tries again. The ladder starts to slip a second time, but he recovers and then has some difficulty securing footing on the steep pitch of the roof. But he makes it.
You pull up to a large high-rise residence in the middle of the night to find fire on two floors. Instead of immediately going into that inferno you open a compartment on the rig and suddenly scores of little robotic helicopters fly out and into the building. If they could talk, the would yell to the firefighters, "Don't worry we've got it". If a victim is found, the robotic choppers would direct the firefighters in for the save.
Pei Zhang, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University thinks that is a possibility for the future of these hovering drones equipped with radios, gyroscopes, and compasses. Zhang believes it's a way to make firefighting safer.
From what little I know about these things, I have no doubt there are some very functional uses for technology like this that could help in some search situations. While I have lots of questions (as I am sure you do), let me start with just two. Who will be forcing the doors throughout the building so these electronic heroes can do their work? How well do you expect these gizmos to hold up or fly under the high temperatures of a fire.
That said, they look some real fun things to play with. Do you think I could do a product review?
While we focus almost exclusively on fire and EMS here, this is one of those days that dramatic video involving law enforcement from two separate parts of the country is front and center.
The video above is today’s botched bank robbery in Maryland. Police from Prince George’s County and Takoma Park quickly found themselves face to face with the gunman walking out the door of the bank holding a female hostage. She was able to break free when the robber was tripped up by a snow bank. It gave police a chance to shoot the gunman. He died. A Prince George’s County Police officer was wounded in the leg, apparently from a bullet that ricocheted.
TV stations in the Washington area were in the breaking news mode as this all happened. It was one of those moments where someone being shot and killed was seen live on television. Since then the news operations, as far as we can tell, are only showing the edited chopper video on the air. It stops before the gunman falls to the ground. The exception is WTTG-TV, which has put the complete raw video on its website. Click here for that video.
The other video is from the shootout inside a Detroit police station five days ago. It shows Lamar Moore entering the Northwest District on January 23 and ambushing the officers. Moore was killed in this gun battle and four police officers are recovering from their wounds. The 68 second video, showing two camera angles, was released today by the Detroit Police Department.
The video opens with a message from Police Chief Ralph Godbee. Chief Godbee explains the decision to release this video. The chief called it a commitment to transparency and to show citizens the heroism of his officers. The chief also believes it will of help in the training of police officers.
Below is some of the police radio traffic during the shootout that was posted on YouTube by FirefighterDispatch.
In one view Cmdr. Brian Davis is seen walking up the the desk, where Modreci Draper, owner of a shoe repair business who had come to the station to shine officers’ shoes, is talking to Officer David Anderson.
In the camera view at the door, Moore is seen walking into the building, but a gun is not visible. Then you can see him walk close to the desk.
Davis is talking to Sgt. Ray Saati, with his back initially turned to Moore. Draper leans down, wiping salt from Anderson’s shoes, he told the Free Press Thursday. Suddenly, there is a blast and Anderson falls away into a corridor, with only his feet visible in the frame.
Moore shoots down another hallway, where Sgt. Carrie Schulz is shot in her bullet-proof vest. From that corridor, Sgts. Mike Ingels and James Kirkland begin shooting at Moore, who backs up, according to police.
Behind the desk, Davis takes Saati’s gun and he and Officer Theodore Jackson begin shooting over the desk at Moore, who hurls himself over the counter.
Moore moves toward Davis, who extends his right arm, shooting at point-blank range with the gunman. Moore shoots and hits Davis’ hand and Davis is also hit in the back. He takes cover, while Moore moves to the other side of the desk area. At this point, according to police, Moore is mortally wounded.
Davis throws a trash can at Moore, who staggers and falls into chairs.
Newly released aerial photos of the World Trade Center terror attack capture the towers’ dramatic collapse, from just after the first fiery plane strike to the apocalyptic dust clouds that spread over lower Manhattan and its harbor.
The images were taken from a police helicopter — the only photographers allowed in the air space near the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. They were obtained by ABC News after it filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which investigated the collapse.
The chief curator of the planned Sept. 11 museum, which is compiling a digital archive of attack coverage, said the still images are “a phenomenal body of work” that show a new, wide-angle look at the towers’ collapse and the gray dust clouds that shrouded the city afterward.
The photos are “absolutely core to understanding the visual phenomena of what was happening,” said Jan Ramirez, chief curator at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
The images of the dust clouds rising as high as some downtown skyscrapers “are some of the most exceptional images in the world, I think, of this event,” Ramirez said.
ABC said the NIST gave the network 2,779 pictures on nine CDs, saying some of the photographs had never been released before.
The network posted 12 photos this week on its Web site, all taken by ex-NYPD Aviation Unit Detective Greg Semendinger, who was first in the air in a search for survivors on the rooftop. He said he and his pilot watched the second plane hit the south tower from the helicopter.
“We didn’t find one single person. It was surreal,” he told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “There was no sound. No sound whatsoever, but the noise of the radio and the helicopter. I just kept taking pictures.”
He took three rolls of film with his Minolta camera, plus 245 digital shots. Semendinger said he gave the digital images to the 9/11 Commission and believes those images were released by the NSIT. In the days after the attack, he e-mailed some of the photos to friends and several were posted on the Internet.
Later, nine of the images were published in a book called “Above Hallowed Ground: A Photographic Record of Sept. 11″ without his consent. The book was a tribute to the officers who were killed that day.
The photos capture the enormous scope of the dust that enveloped the area.
In some images, the tops of the nearby Woolworth Building and other skyscrapers can be seen rising above the billowing dark plume against a clear blue sky. Buildings can hardly be seen at all in one image — just a burst of dust clouds hanging over the serene Hudson River at the southern tip of Manhattan.
A close-up image from earlier in the morning shows orange flames and black smoke rising past the antenna on top of the north tower, the first hit by a hijacked plane.
Ramirez said the museum, which is slated to open in 2012, saw a selection of the photos at police headquarters several years ago.
They are extremely important because the NYPD aviation unit had the clearance to be up in the air in lower Manhattan only “moments after the first tower was hit,” and stayed in the area for the remainder of the day, she said.
Sometime after 10 a.m., she said they were able to “predict that the north tower was going to fall.” It did just before 10:30 a.m.
The museum hopes to get a complete set of the photos.
“We’ve had our sights set on this body of visual evidence for several years,” Ramirez said.
Semendinger retired from the NYPD in 2002 after 35 years, 20 of them in aviation. He said he has thought about publishing his work from those days.
“I almost didn’t realize what I was seeing that day,” he said. “Looking at it now it’s amazing I took those pictures. The images are … stunning.”