Just like how a knife can be used to attack or defend oneself, the same can be said when it comes to the usefulness of drones, where depending on who is using it and what they’re using it for, it can be a good or bad thing. For example someone flying a drone into a fire and hindering the efforts of firefighters is clearly a bad thing.

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However firefighters using drones to fight fires is probably a good thing, which is kind of what firefighters in South Africa are doing. Earlier this year, the Western Cape of South Africa was hit with some pretty bad wildfires, and while it was bad and lives were lost, it is possible that things could have been worse had the firefighters not used drones.

The firefighters had requested drones by Airborne Drones which were equipped with heat mapping capabilities, plus given that they could withstand extreme temperatures and fly high above the flames, it allowed firefighters to survey the area, identify hot spots that could potentially flare up, and also identify people or animals that might be trapped.

In the future the use of drones could also help firefighters reduce the number of casualties amongst themselves too, since having a bird’s eye view will allow for better decision making, as well as allowing them to work proactively instead of reactively.

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