New High-Tech Tool For Fire and Rescue

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- The Rockingham County Department of Fire and Rescue has a new tool to keep you safe.

The department now has a quad-copter. The new tool will help make their rescues faster and safer. The department purchased it just last month and has already found multiple uses for it. One of those being a swift water rescue a couple of weeks ago.

One use that has the department particularly excited is for hazmat situations and fires as they can send the quad-copter to assess potentially dangerous situations.

"In the past we've had to go up and actually send people up to the truck to see what was on it, come back, report that, and then we'd make a determination of what type of protective clothing and things like that we would need. Now, we can start gathering that intel as soon as we get there, and put our personnel to work quicker," said Chief Jeremy Holloway with the Rockingham County Department of Fire and Rescue.

Holloway said they learned about the quad-copter from a department in Maryland which is already using it. After some discussion, they decided to get one of their own.

"I wouldn't say we're the first, but we're definitely the first around here to be operating one. I think it's a technology that's really starting to catch on and draw some attention and interest nationwide for multiple uses in emergency services," said Capt. Clay Shiflet.

Holloway also said the number one reason for getting the quad-copter is safety, "The cost of the unit is right around $1,400, is what we have in the unit. The cost savings of saving someones life, is, you can't put a price on that."

The department is putting guidelines in place for when it can be used and hopes to be finished training with the quad-copter in a month.


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