Firefighters in Ecuador receive training as unmanned aircraft pilots

April 17, 2024

Firefighters in Quito, Rumiñahui, and Baños enhance emergency response with new drone pilot training

Starting April 15, firefighters and civil servants from Quito, Rumiñahui, and Baños have been participating in a specialized training program aimed at enhancing their skills as unmanned aircraft operator pilots.

The training, held at station No. 24 in Conocoto, focuses on aerial evaluation in emergency situations across both urban and rural settings.

Course details and objectives

The “Pilots operating unmanned aircraft” course, conducted by the Fire Aviation Directorate, spans five days, concluding on April 19.

It is designed to equip the administrative and operational personnel of the Fire Departments from Quito, Rumiñahui, and Baños with advanced skills in managing unmanned aerial operations.

The program includes instruction on the recognition of takeoff, landing, and overflight areas specifically in regions impacted by emergencies.

Practical and theoretical components of the training

The intensive course comprises 40 academic hours, divided between theoretical knowledge and practical exercises.

Topics covered include general aircraft knowledge, aeronautical regulations, principles of flight, meteorology, air navigation, operational procedures, communications, and air traffic control.

Eduardo Villavicencio, an officer from the Baños Fire Department, shared his optimism about the training: “We want to replicate the experience in our city because of the rugged area we have. It will facilitate search, rescue and forest fire prevention operations.”

Certification and future capabilities

Upon completion, 20 participants will be certified as pilots capable of conducting safe and efficient air operations with unmanned aircraft.

This certification is expected to significantly enhance the effectiveness of emergency response in challenging terrains and complex situations.

FSJA comment

The integration of drone technology into emergency response operations represents a progressive step for Ecuadorian firefighting teams.

This initiative enhances the operational capacity of firefighters and ensures a higher level of preparedness in facing diverse emergencies.

The training program is a strategic move to incorporate modern technology in traditional firefighting and rescue operations, which could serve as a model for similar programs in other regions.

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