IT Uses Aerial Video to Aid Firefighters

The Pharr Innovation & Technology Department of Pharr, Texas was requested by Fire Chief Jaime Guzman to respond to a mutual aid call from Brooks County for a growing brush fire, Texas on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at approximately 3pm CST.

The initial report was that the engaged Brooks County fire units were stuck in loamy sand and the firefighters were requesting additional assets to assist battle the 350 acre blaze.

The Pharr Technical Response Unit (TRU) was requested to coordinate communications, weather reports and command post locations for Pharr units as well as other assets arriving from other cities from Hidalgo County for interoperability purposes. As part of the TRU list of equipment is an aerial video platform. This technology was used by on scene staff to capture video of entire fire operations, and allowed them to identify possible threats to firefighters and the public.

This is a great asset to have for any emergency calls such as this fire; as it allows to have an aerial view of areas we cannot see from the outside.  It allows us to see what’s transpiring within the interior without endangering our fire crews. Furthermore, it enhances quick updates on the progress of the fire and what we may need to modify to accomplish our extinguishment goals said Juan Martinez the Hidalgo County Fire Marshal.  Pharr Fire Chief Jaime Guzman stated that resources such as this unit and its equipment is essential to save lives and property more effectively and uniting different departments with our city to accomplish a common goal. This is beneficial for all public safety needs in our city and surrounding communities utilizing the mutual aid agreement within the Rio Grande Valley and the State of Texas Chief Guzman added.

Adding technology to an emergency scene is great. Especially when you can keep fireman from risking their lives, hurting themselves, or wasting valuable time to locate those areas said Jason Arms, Pharr’s Innovation & Technology Director. It was a honor to have worked at this fire scene with all agency firefighters and allowing them to view how technology such as this and communications management helps them do their job more safely and efficiently.

The Technical Resource Unit (TRU) is a partnership between the Pharr Fire Rescue and the Pharr Innovation & Technology Department that hosts a long list of technology used in response, on scene operations and demobilization of assets in times of emergency.