WFC News

Posted: Jul 19, 2019

Introducing the World’s Most Advanced Aerial Firefighting Surveillance Tool

Bozeman, Montana. - Bridger Aerospace has integrated technologies from Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT) and Latitude to introduce the world’s most advanced aerial firefighting surveillance system. To tackle the country’s most extreme fires, the Gen V system will be used by Bridger’s highly skilled and trained team of operators to better support wildfire management and relief missions.

The fully integrated system combines AVT’s revolutionary lightweight CM142 imaging payload; AVT’s Fire Mapper; and Latitude’s FVR-90 VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) unmanned aerial system. The CM142 optic delivers real-time aerial data, transferring high definition daylight and crisp long-wave infrared imagery directly to the remote ground station. The footage highlights hotspots, areas affected and areas at risk of damage. The Fire Mapper includes short-wave infrared, long-wave infrared and a 13-megapixel daylight sensor. Real-time fire mapping with live locations facilitates better decision making when responding to the fire.  

Latitude’s next generation VTOL provides greater flexibility in deployment, allowing take-off and landing to take place from any location, at any time. With an endurance of up to 15 hours, the system can perform for long durations to ensure the team collects the data required for the mission.

Using a fully integrated, user-friendly rover system, Bridger Aerospace will provide firefighters with remote access to live video with real-time overlays of telemetry and metadata. Operators can communicate to the aircraft using the primary datalink and a small portable handheld radio device. The system uses a MIMO (multi in multi out) data link, which extends the range from the ground station out to over 50nm.

The fully integrated system combines everything needed to support the US Government in tackling the country’s most dangerous fires, helping firefighters save lives and reducing damage. Bridger Aerospace is one of the two companies in the United States authorized to conduct BLOS (beyond line of site) flights in active fire zones. With over 13 years of experience in providing solutions for wildfire management, Bridger delivers revolutionary equipment and a skilled team of operators to tackle each firefighting mission.

CEO at Bridger Aerospace, Tim Sheehy, said “We have developed a world leading aerial firefighting surveillance tool that will transform aerial data collection for fire management and relief missions in the United States. The system includes Latitude’s FVR-90 VTOL, which is fitted with AVT’s high-performance CM142 sensor and Fire Mapper to support the US government in managing the country’s major wildfires.

This system will have a huge impact on wildfire management by providing all the essential tools needed to help save lives. This revolutionary firefighting surveillance solution will be controlled by Bridger’s highly-trained team of UAS operators to provide a world-leading service to combat wildfires.”

Integrated Systems Manager, Weston Irr, said “This marks the second year where Bridger Aerospace supports firefighting missions in the US using an unmanned aerial system. With our new Gen V fully integrated UAS system, we can provide firefighters with remote access to accurate, real-time imagery. This data will have a huge impact on the efficiency of their operation by facilitating fast and informed response to the fire.”

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Posted: Jul 19, 2019

USFA: Pennsylvania On-Duty Death

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Lieutenant Neil B. Cope, 46, of the North Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Department on July 16, 2019.

The North Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched at 0132hrs to assist on a mutual aid residential fire. Lieutenant Cope was part of the engine crew assigned to staging in full PPE and SCBA with masks doffed. After approximately 45 minutes the crew was released by command and cleared the scene. After returning to his residence, Lieutenant Cope spoke to his wife at 0730hrs via phone. His wife then attempted to call him multiple times during the day without success.  At approximately 1600hrs his wife came home and found him not breathing and cold to the touch on the floor of the bedroom. EMS was called and Lieutenant Cope was pronounced deceased at home.  The cause and nature of death are under investigation.

Tribute is being paid to Lieutenant Cope at

To date, 27 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2019.  Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

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Posted: Jul 19, 2019

Pierce’s "Road Rally" Sets Off for Second Wave of Events

APPLETON, WI—Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) company, announced that its 2019 Road Rally has set off for the second wave of events taking place along the East Coast and throughout the Midwest. The Road Rally offers a hands-on and immersive experience for members of the fire service. On Monday, July 15, the Road Rally stopped in Allentown, Pennsylvania, near the headquarters of authorized Pierce dealer, Glick Fire Equipment, and will continue to 12 additional locations throughout July and August 2019. Like the first wave of events, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in educational Q&A sessions with Pierce product experts and Pierce dealer representatives, as well as view and test drive all apparatus featured in the Road Rally.  

“Over the past month, the Road Rally stopped in eight locations throughout the Southeast with 75 attendees or more taking part in each event,” said Jim Johnson, president of Pierce Manufacturing. “Some attendees visit the event in the closest geographic location to their department, and others have traveled a significant distance to accommodate work schedule demands. We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about the opportunity the Road Rally presents to gain knowledge and hands-on experience with apparatus that offer features to best suit the needs of a community.” 

The nine fire trucks included in Pierce’s Road Rally include: 

  • Arrow XT™ 100’ Ascendant® Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower
  • Enforcer™ 107’ Ascendant® Heavy-Duty Single Axle Aerial Ladder with PUC™ Pump
  • Enforcer™ 107’ Ascendant® Heavy-Duty Tandem Axle Aerial Ladder
  • Impel® 110’ Ascendant® Heavy-Duty Single Axle Aerial Platform
  • Enforcer™  75’ Aluminum Aerial Ladder
  • Velocity® 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Platform
  • Enforcer™  PUC Pumper
  • Saber® Pumper with Ford Power Stroke® Turbo Diesel Power Train
  • CRU-22 Critical Response Unit

In addition to taking part in the hands-on operation of apparatus, Road Rally attendees can learn more about the extensive customizations available on Pierce fire trucks from chassis to pump panels, electrical systems to TAK-4® suspension, and more. The events are designed to allow fire department representatives to view, operate, and ask questions about products that will best serve their community’s unique needs. 

“We were happy to partner with Ten-8 Fire Equipment to provide accommodations at our department in McDonough, Georgia, for one of Pierce’s Road Rally events,” said Mark Henley, Lieutenant at Henry County Fire Department. “As we wait for our grant to come through, we were able to show our commissioner first-hand the superior maneuverability of the 100’ Ascendant Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower, how it will meet our gallons-per-minute flow requirements, as well as the features that will address many other critical needs of the area we serve.” 

Over t

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Posted: Jul 19, 2019

Port Angeles to pursue lease with port for emergency operations center

City officials will explore a potential lease with the Port of Port Angeles for a joint emergency operations center and 9-1-1 dispatch center near William R. Fairchild Memorial Airport. The Port Angeles City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday to authorize City Manager Nathan West to “begin the process of exploring a lease agreement” for the port’s 1010 Building as a home for a new Clallam County EOC to be co-located with Peninsula Communications, or PenCom.
- PUB DATE: 7/19/2019 4:45:12 AM - SOURCE: Port Angeles Peninsula Daily News - Metered Site
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Posted: Jul 19, 2019

Pennsylvania firefighters mourn loss of one of their own

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the commonwealth flags in Westmoreland County to be lowered to half-staff to honor a firefighter who died hours after returning from a call. North Belle Vernon volunteer fireman Neil Cope, 46, died Tuesday after assisting Rostraver firefighters at a house fire. “We were there probably an hour, an hour and fifteen minutes and they controlled the flames.
- PUB DATE: 7/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPXI-TV NBC 11 Pittsburgh
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