Drones are in the news nearby, this time in York County–about a 45-minute drive from our headquarters in Chesapeake, Virginia. The County has added drones to their fleet of tools for emergency assistance, and is deploying them to assess storm damage, protect teams in hazmat situations, and monitor crowds at large events. The drones can be fitted with lifesaving equipment–like an inflatable life vest that could be taken to a swimmer in distress–that will make them even more helpful in our coastal region.
“This is the latest and greatest thing,” said Assistant Chief Christopher Sadler, with York County Fire and Life Safety. “Being able to have that perspective from the sky down is tremendous.”
Rover One is the name of the truck and trailer outfitted by York County that houses all three drones, the supporting equipment and computer monitors to record flights and monitor air traffic.
“It’s essentially dispatched no different than a firetruck or ambulance wherever the incident would be,” said Sadler.
While Major Ron Montgomery, deputy sheriff, acknowledges the privacy concerns and skepticism some feel about the use of drones in police work, he explains that “The drone cannot be put any place that I couldn’t be as a law enforcement officer without that search warrant.”
We’ve seen so many news stories like this from across the US. How are emergency services near you using drones? Let us know in the comments, or message us on social media @goDroneUp!