Hillsborough County, home to the city of Tampa, FL, is located directly north of Manatee county where the towns of Bradenton and Sarasota are located. A few months ago, a rather distressful call came into the Sarasota County Fire Department (SCFD) regarding HazMat. A fire alarm tied to a chemical monitoring system triggered the call, informing first responders of an anhydrous ammonia leak at an industrial facility.
Upon arriving on the scene, the SCFD could not ascertain the source of the leak. Nearby, the Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue (SMFR) department was dispatched, specifically for their HazMat Team to join the investigation.
SMFR Firefighter, EMT, and UAS Coordinator Rich Gatanis along with his Lieutenant and another firefighter took action by putting their DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual and DJI Matrice 210 into the air to provide thermal imaging in order to detect the leak without compromising human safety.
Furthermore, it was about more than leak detection. Situational awareness was key here to resolve the leak and maintain integrity over the scene for the HazMat team during the decontamination phase of the call with the FLYMOTION Drone Decon Kit (DDK).