Resource UAS identifies casualties in minutes at Gloucester Fire & Rescue Service’s annual resilience exercise


A Huginn X1 UAS operated by Resource UAS, a part of Resource Group, identified simulated casualties within minutes whilst supporting Gloucester Fire & Rescue Service on its annual major resilience exercise recently held at Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire.

More than 400 emergency responders from across the country took part in Exercise Selfridge, a large-scale exercise focused on the local search and rescue plan. The simulation tested Gloucestershire Local Resilience Forum’s response to a ‘survivable air crash’ between a Lynx helicopter and a Hercules aircraft.

Resource UAS provided airborne surveillance and made the downlinked live EO and IR video imagery available to both the on-scene commander, incident command units and the search and rescue coordination cell.  The system provided a unique view of the crash site and was capable of being directly controlled by the incident commander; thus providing additional situational awareness to enable a swift co-ordinated response.

The imagery provided was used to immediately direct response teams to the scene, rather than spend time conducting manpower intensive foot searches for the casualties.  This could be critical in life saving situations where getting first responders to the injured as rapidly as possible could mean the difference between life and death.

Resource UAS supported the county’s Fire and Rescue Service, Police, South West Ambulance Trust’s Hazardous Area Rescue Team, RAF search & rescue, voluntary organisations and emergency teams from neighbouring counties. Hovercraft, water rescue and search dog teams were also on hand to participate in the exercise.

Bob Gillan, UAS Operations Manager at Resource UAS said: “The operation gave all partners a chance to assess their response, communications and incident command. We are very pleased to be involved in such a valuable exercise, which enabled the Local Resilience Forum to assess the County’s response to the rescue of casualties on land or water and the wider implications of a major incident.”

Chair of Gloucestershire Local Resilience Forum and the County’s Chief Fire Officer, Jon Hall, said: “This was an opportunity to see the benefits of multi-agency work should the worst ever happen and the county is involved in an incident of this size.

“Exercises like these are nothing new to the county but the lessons learned are vital in helping us all do our jobs in protecting the people of Gloucestershire and the region.”

Gloucester Police Inspector Steve McGrory said of the operation: “The use of the Resource UAS unmanned aircraft produced images that were invaluable in identifying the locations of the victims in the exercise. The clarity of the video feed produced provided the commanders with a clear overview of the incident site and greatly helped in producing a rescue and recovery plan.

“I would recommend the use of this system to any Commander who needs a full and clear picture of any incident they are required to command.”

Resource UAS offers clients a wide range of imagery services ranging from single day to 365 24/7 cover. These imagery services are made bespoke to exactly fit the challenging requirements of the diverse emergency services and other clients we support. Resource UAS is a part of Resource Group and operates throughout the UK.