[Editor’s Note: The drone will be used for search and rescue and brush fires.]
CHEEKTOWAGA, NY – When you think of drones, many people think of their neighborhood weekend warrior having some fun, or perhaps you think of drones on the battlefield. Now the first fire department in Western New York has purchased one as its eye in the sky.
A drone is the latest and greatest piece of equipment that members of the Bellevue Fire Company say will save first responders valuable time and save lives in the process. The question is why spend money on a drone and not another piece of traditional life saving equipment? Bellevue Asst. Fire Chief Gabe Casucci says, “It’s awesome to have for search and rescue, brush fires, and helps our guys find where we need to get to.”
Drones are new to many fire companies on the east coast, but out west they’ve been used to save lives during floods, searching for victims and even sending out life preservers and food for those in need. It takes a lot of training to operate the drone properly, and it’s definitely not a toy. Firefighters say this piece of equipment will save lives. “It’s huge, we get calls about lost people, no need for twenty guys, we send a drone and ATV’s’ and sweep the area looking for the victim,” Casucci told us.
Drones are also work horses, they never call in sick, and they can even be equipped with a fifty pound payload and thermal imaging can be added to see things at night.
The Bellevue fire department also says the drone will come in handy during snow storms helping stranded drivers and accident scenes.
The drone is also available for mutual aid as well to all companies in Erie County.