Bruges Citymesh is the first in Belgium to market a drone for emergency services. The Safety Drone will initially be used by fire stations to get a faster and better overview in emergency situations.
Antwerp, Ghent and Kortrijk are the first to enter the pilot project. But other zones are expected to follow soon. “It is the task of the emergency services to minimize the impact on persons and goods in the event of an incident,” Commander Maertens emphasizes once again. "I believe that a Safety Drone can help every zone enormously."
“The Safety Drone is ready 24/7 on the roof of the barracks. From there it can be sent to every call, ”explains Ward Van Ooteghem, Head of Innovation at Citymesh. “Because of his speed, he is always the first to arrive. That means that vital information can be immediately exchanged between public authorities and emergency services. ”
Citymesh is the only operator in Belgium that has access to 5G, which guarantees a stable connection over long distances. More and more machines and vehicles are controlled wirelessly and therefore require a fast, reliable and secure connection. The industry clearly sees the advantages of a private network, Citymesh is already active in the Belgian wind farms and we are working on various projects in ports, heavy industry and production halls.
For the Safety Drone project, Citymesh is building a secure, private network around the barracks. Via this network, the pilots control the drone and both HD and thermal images are sent back to the alarmed barracks, the sent vehicles and the dispatch. Once on-site, the drone will keep circling above the location. Taking into account its battery capacity and the weather conditions, the drone will return autonomously to the barracks after the mission.
Thanks to Dronehub, the drone-mission platform that secures the reliable and fast wireless link with the drones, the pilots always have the option, from our central control room in Bruges, to take control of the drone and to intervene when necessary.
“The ultimate aim is to provide the entire Belgian territory with 5G coverage, in order to facilitate drones or other flying objects from other parties with a private, fast and safe network between 50 m and 150 m above ground level. Citymesh will be the first pioneer.” explains Ward Van Ooteghem.
Fire brigade zones in Belgium are very enthusiastic. “A major problem with many calls is that we do not know in advance what to expect,” says Bert Brugghemans of the Antwerp fire brigade zone. "We lose precious time in that first chaos."
Commander Frank Maertens of the Fluvia-Kortrijk fire brigade zone agrees: “Speed and safety are inextricably linked,” he says. “The Safety Drone can be dispatched immediately after a call to assess the situation. This way our firefighters know in which situation they end up. That is safer for them, but also for the citizens they have to help.”