News

Menlo fire district, Coast Guard adopt safety plan for drones and aircraft

 

A new plan for Peninsula firefighters' search and rescue drones and U.S. Coast Guard helicopters to share the skies over the San Francisco Bay could make the difference between a "live rescue and a tragic recovery," Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman said.

Drones are frequently used in emergencies and natural disasters but conflicts emerged between public and private drone operators and other emergency aircraft, such as those used in wildland firefighting, during the wildfire seasons of 2017 and 2018.

In some cases, air tankers and helicopters were unable to drop water or fire retardant due to the threat of collision with smaller, unmanned systems in the area.

Over the Bay, however, the new agreement spells out specific altitudes of operation for drones and aircraft to improve operator safety.

"We've established that our search and rescue drones working in conjunction with our water rescue craft, or rescue boats, don't need to fly above 150 feet," Schapelhouman said in a news release Monday.

"This optimal drone flight height gives us the best birds eye screen view, pictures, video and most importantly strategic situational awareness capabilities that can enhance and better coordinate joint aviation operations where seconds count and minutes matter," Schapelhouman said.

Questions about anti-collision lighting and other safety protocols are also addressed.

"Drones are a tremendous asset for searching the confined areas around bridges and power lines and, when combined with ... helicopters, provide a more complete and effective maritime rescue package for the Bay Area public," U.S. Coast Guard Commander Brian Potter said.

During a period of annexation in the post-World War II era, Menlo Park acquired a significant area of marshland, mud and tidal water where the Menlo Park Fire Protection District is now responsible for emergency response.

— Bay City News Service

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

20 people like this
Posted by Did u lnow
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 4, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Now with this new development, what will Fire Board Member Virginia Chang Kiraly do since both districts have cross responsibilities. How can she run for two elected positions? Here’s the breakdown;


San Mateo Harbor District:

The San Mateo County Harbor District is an autonomous district created to operate harbor facilities and waterways within the boundaries of San Mateo County.

Fire District:

During a period of annexation in the post-World War II era, Menlo Park acquired a significant area of marshland, mud and tidal water where the Menlo Park Fire Protection District is now responsible for emergency response.

Let’s see what happens in 2020.


12 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 4, 2019 at 7:54 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Kiraly is clearly violating the law which prohibits an individual from holding two elected offices that have overlapping jurisdiction.

"Incompatible Offices. Gov. Code Section 1099 codifies the common law prohibition against the holding of “incompatible offices.” This doctrine restricts the ability of public officials to hold two different public offices simultaneously if the offices have overlapping and conflicting public duties. For this section to apply, each position must be a “public office.” (Gov. Code Section 1099(c).)

Pursuant to Section 1099, a person may not simultaneously hold two public offices if: either of the offices exercises a supervisory, auditing, or removal power over the other office or body, there is a significant clash of duties or loyalties between the offices, or there are public policy considerations that make it improper. The consequence of holding an incompatible office is that the person is “deemed to have forfeited the first office upon acceding to the second.” (Gov. Code Section 1099(b).) In addition, the California Constitution has provisions addressing the holding of two government positions."

Sadly the San Mateo County Elections Officer and the San Mateo County District Attorney have chosen to look the other way on this clear transgression of the law.


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 4, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Sadly the San Mateo County Elections Officer and the San Mateo County District Attorney have chosen to look the other way on this clear transgression of the law."

Shocking in the most corrupt county in California.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Nationally renowned Indian restaurant expanding to Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,438 views

Summer travel: Is anything changing?
By Sherry Listgarten | 8 comments | 1,024 views

Swimming with the kids
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 580 views

Premarital and Couples: "Our Deepest Fear" by Marianne Williamson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 575 views

Cap On? Cap Off? Recycling Bottles is Confusing
By Laura Stec | 10 comments | 500 views