Charlottesville Fire Department adds drones to increase readiness

Charlottesville Fire Department adds drones.
Charlottesville Fire Department adds drones.(WVIR)
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 1:18 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville Fire Department is adding drones to its department.

Fire department members went through a three day training course at Piedmont Virginia Community College to learn to operate the drones.

“We’re excited that we’ve added a complement to our readiness; our operational readiness and certainly, pre-incident readiness,” Fire Chief Dr. Hezedean Smith said.

The drones will give CFD members access to hard to see places.

“We can use it for structure fires, we can use it for hazmat incidents. We can use it for training. We’ll be able to video, film our training events and play those back where we can see what we need to do to address shortcomings and congratulate those that are doing good,” Scott Carpenter, the CFD battalion chief in charge of professional standards, said.

“Especially in my case, post fire scenes, being able to take pictures from above a structure fire or any incident that we’re investigating will really help us in the Fire Marshal’s Office to determine the cause and origin,” Battalion Chief and Deputy Fire Marshall Joe Phillips said. “The drones have really specific capabilities depending on the type and size of the drone. And so we’ll look at investing in more drones in the future as money becomes available”

The drones cost came out of the FY2021 budget and classes were a part of a grant from Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.

Do you have a story idea? Send us your news tip here.