Wayne Township Fire Department introduces drones for emergency response

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WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Ind. (September 10, 2015) - Wayne Township firefighters are getting training on using drones as a life-saving tool.

Firefighters spent the week learning how to fly the drones that will be used during emergency situations. The department purchased three drones this year and will use them in the field once all training and paperwork is complete.

“Being able to see what’s going on from up above is just going to be huge for us as first responders," explained Wayne Township Fire Department Cpt. Mike Pruitt.

The drones will be used in pre-planning situations. They will also be used for fire investigations.

"Get eyes on any type of incident that we have going on, whether it's hazardous materials, whether it's a structure fire, missing persons," Pruitt said.

The program and drones cost about $14,000 combined. The department is hoping to get more drones in the near future and expand the program. Firefighters who've received training say the drones are fairly easy to fly.

Pruitt said he recognizes that drones have been met with controversy in recent years. He said these drones will only be used for emergency situations.

“We understand this is a dangerous job. We all understand that, but this give us a little bit of an element where maybe we can take a little bit out of putting our firefighters in a recon position and maybe we can use the drone instead of people," explained Wayne Township Fire Department Lt. Troy Wymer.

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