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Lebanon Fire to use drones in their service

The Lebanon Fire District recently launched a new drone program to increase efficiency and safety during emergency situations. Six members of the district have completed their licensing process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and their Part 107 testing.

LFD said there are many benefits to having licensed drone operators in the district.

“Drones can cover large areas quickly and provide information on terrain otherwise inaccessible by crews,” Division Chief of Training Mark Fitzwater said. “This will be invaluable during swift water operations when we are unable to determine an immediate location of a victim.”

Other applications for drone use include gathering information in hazard zones without putting personnel at risk, such as wildfire spread or haz-mat situations, determining fire spread during large commercial fires, or determining a fire’s location in a defensive operation. Drones can also be used for inspections and emergency pre-planning operations, training and assisting other mutual aid agencies.

Because the drone team is made up of both career and volunteer members, incident commanders will be able to request a drone response at any time. Using the drone during emergency operations will keep personnel out of dangerous situations and help assess emergency scenes more efficiently.