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Be at the incident before arriving

Fireman holding drone controller
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Fire department Amsterdam


First responder


The Netherlands


Keeping citizens save


The Amsterdam-Amstelland fire brigade, part of the Amsterdam-Amstelland Safety Region, consists of the six municipalities of Aalsmeer, Amstelveen, Amsterdam, Diemen, Ouder-Amstel and Uithoorn. The region has one million inhabitants, with many thousands of people coming to work every day, with two million tourists every year. This requires decisiveness, the bundling of knowledge and skills and professional management. Together with the municipalities, the police and the medical aid workers, the Amsterdam-Amstelland Fire Brigade promotes and monitors safety in the region. A corps of about 1,100 people that effectively intervenes in fires and accidents, but also in combating disasters and managing large-scale crisis situations.

The challenge

When an incident happens, every second counts. The sooner you have eyes on sight, the sooner you can get an overview of the severity of the situation. While the fire department is getting ready to leave, the drone can be sent in advance and create immediate situational awareness. While this sounds great in theory, it had to be tested to prove drones are of added benefit to their workflow.

With good information, we can respond faster and better. We can deploy our resources better, we can target our deployment, and we can operate more safely.
Peter Butter, fire department Amsterdam-Amstelland


A demonstration was done, during which an incident was simulated. The drone flew from the fire station to the Marine terrain in Amsterdam. Back at the station, the team is managing the drone from the Drone Operation Center, communicating exactly what’s happening to their colleagues who are traveling to the scene. By the time they get there, they know what’s going on and can anticipate as needed.


  • The scope of the incident can be properly determined – The type of incident can be indicated 
  • It’s easily determined if their access road is clear 
  • Indicate if there are any dangerous toxins involved Overall, it makes the work for the fire department easier, but also safer for the men fighting the incident. Many unknown factors can be eliminated.