Live video from drones and vehicles helped GCFD extinguish the fire at the Copenhagen Stock Exchange

The fire at Børsen, the Stock Exchange in Copenhagen, hit the headlines on April 16 and the days after. For several days, the  Greater Copenhagen Fire Department struggled to extinguish the fire and rescue important cultural artefacts from the iconic building. During the incident, live video proved an indispensable tool for the GCFD.

Live video from drones and vehicles helped GCFD extinguish the fire at The Copenhagen Stock Exchange blog hero image

"In many ways, the fire at Børsen was an incident we will not soon forget. We greatly increased the size of our crew, and there was generally a huge set-up around the tragic incident," says Carsten Vick, who arrived at the control centre a few minutes after the fire broke out to help his colleagues.

When the first fire engine arrives at Børsen, the operations centre follows it with the help of live video cameras mounted on the vehicle:

"We follow from the operations centre as soon as our incident commander arrives at the fire. Using cameras on many of our vehicles, we get a situational picture and a good overview of the incident, which helps us reorganize the crew quickly," says Christoffer van Zeijst Nygaard, duty team leader at the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department


Live video from the air

Twenty minutes after the initial fire alarm sounds, the first drone with live video is airborne. In the following hours, the number of drones will increase, offering a critical aerial overview of the fire and its progression.

"It is essential for our efforts to monitor the fire using drones. This is a tool we rely on regularly, so we always have at least one drone pilot on duty. During the firefighting operation at Børsen, we used the drones extensively to inform our decisions," says Christoffer van Zeijst Nygaard.

The drones are equipped with different types of cameras, including regular and thermal imaging cameras, both of which were used during the incident

"The various types of cameras enable us to gather extensive information from the air. The thermal imaging cameras allowed us to track the fire's progression beneath the roof and determine where to intervene. We also used the drones even after most of the fire was extinguished," says Christoffer van Zeijst Nygaard. 

Photo: Greater Copenhagen Fire Department

Available around the clock

"The worst thing that can happen to our operators is if IT fails," says Carsten Vick.

Therefore, it was reassuring for him that Bliksund's technicians and developers were monitoring and keeping an eye on whether the live video solution IncidentShare was working properly throughout the incident. On the second day, he was alerted by Bliksund that there were challenges with server capacity.

"The many hours of live video over several days meant that there were challenges with all the data we were streaming. Bliksund quickly found a solution to this, where they manually moved things around so that we could continue to use live video,"

says Carsten Vick and continues.

"Given our heavy reliance on IT, knowing that Bliksund is readily available is incredibly reassuring. Their proactive monitoring and response to special incidents like this make us feel truly secure." 

Valuable sharing

The fire at Børsen was a large and horrific incident involving several authorities, including the Copenhagen Police. That's why the GCFD chose to share live video from vehicles and drones with the Copenhagen Police quickly.

"It’s crucial that we collaborate across agencies during incidents like this, and IncidentShare is an invaluable tool for that. It allows everyone to see the same information in real-time, eliminating the need for constant status calls. This means we can use our time more efficiently, ensuring our resources are better utilised." says Christoffer van Zeijst Nygaard.

The incident at Børsen was far from the first time that the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department made use of the opportunity to share across authorities:

"We now have numerous examples of incidents where we have shared live video with various authorities, not just the police. This capability of IncidentShare is a significant strength that we highly value and would not want to be without," concludes Christoffer van Zeijst Nygaard.