Fire brigades have other quicker and more easily deployable kit for DIM (detection identification and monitoring).
Also chem lorries have the contents written on the side so you’ve already got a fairly good idea what the hazards are.
Due to the fact that DIM kit is also used to identify explosives / IEDs etc. The specific details of it and how it works is not something you’ll find in the public domain, but I can tell you that drones won’t bring much to the party.
It’s worth remembering that drones are not the answer to everything. They’re very useful for certain tasks but most of the time more simpler methods will suffice. They’re also fairly limited in when and where they can be used. As soon as you start becoming reliant on UAVs to do jobs, you very quickly lose the ability to do those jobs in high winds, rain, congested air space etc.
In my capacity as a reservist, a few years back I was working with an organisation called SALMO. They do all the maritime salvage work for the MOD. They had a really Gucci little remote controlled submarine for doing below waterline surveys on damaged ships.
It was very expensive and very cool.
However it only worked in perfectly calm and clear water. A camera on a long stick did a much better job and was the preferred method. The submarine never came out of the box.
Where I currently work we jumped into the UAV world with both feet. We invested a lot of cash in people and kit and now we use them for all sorts of jobs. We are definitely an industry leader and possibly a world leader in certain areas of UAV use. I regularly speak at conferences about them.
However, there are a lot of very tall chimney type structures where I work. A lot of the jobs we use UAVs for could actually be done by fixed cameras on top of these chimneys. There are many benefits to this approach: The cameras are cheaper, they’re always switched on, lots of cameras can be operated by one person in a nice warm room, the time to deploy them is zero because they’re already there, you aren’t restricted on lens size because it doesn’t have to fly, there is no risk of crashing one into a person or piece of equipment that could explode etc.
I was not just talking about UAVs. But I do wonder to what extent can risks to emergency personnel be reduced by using remotely controlled sensors, and can they be used to increase the effectiveness of finite personnel numbers?
My old brigade uses drones/toy planes for observation and ir surveillance on the fire ground.
The problem with the present tech is size. Too big for small jobs, too small for big jobs.
Specialised industries would need to provide their own equipment as the local authority would not fund it.
I imagine the chemical and nuclear sectors do their own Research and Development. I assume developnent of equipment for the emergency services is conducted at a national basis.