GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Green Bay Metro Fire adds drones to firefighting fleet

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- The Green Bay Metro Fire Department has added two new drones to their firefighting fleet. “We’ve had the drones since the summer and in July of this year. We started the process to get pilots certified through the FAA,” said Nick Craig, Firefighter Engineer.

So far 12 Firefighters are trained in the Department, at different ranks. “We all went through the part 107 through the FAA and got certified,” said Eric Jeltema, Battalion Chief. Jeltema says it was a team-building exercise and a learning curve. “It really got all of us to work together and learn how to fly drones. Most of us had no experience with drones,” said Jeltema.

For now, the two drones are in service and will be utilized at different stations throughout the city. Training will be ongoing as more Firefighters and other employees get the opportunity to become pilots for the program.

“The drones were purchased so that we could use them in our everyday operations. We can use them to survey scenes and large fires,” said Craig. They are also equipped with thermal imaging capabilities that can be used in an active search for someone who is lost.

The extra eyes in the skies come at a cost of over $20,000 a piece. Officials say the funding came directly from the city budget for new equipment. “Advancements like this is just another great tool to help us,” said Jeltema. The Department is looking into adding more drones in the next year.

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