Firefighting, Leadership, Technical Rescue

Sheboygan County WI Firefighters Would Like to Use Drones

A group of volunteer firefighters from Sheboygan County would like to begin using unmanned drones to assist in fighting and investigating fires, reports

The Sheboygan County Autonomous Search & Rescue team, which was formed last month by several Town of Sheboygan firefighters, could eventually become a shared service that deploys drones at fire scenes and rescue calls throughout the county.

Group members say that despite the negative publicity that unmanned drones have attracted in recent years, they see it as a way to keep firefighters safer by flying in spaces that are dangerous for emergency crews to access, while also adding another tool to make them more effective in their work.

“There’s a lot of negative feelings about drones and the way the media portrays them, but they can be used for positive things that can save lives,” said Adam Harden, who’s captain of the Town of Sheboygan Fire Department.

Harden got the idea last year after buying a $200 drone that he could control with his cell phone. He and the three other volunteer firefighters who’ve since formed the drone search and rescue team will be pitching the concept to local law enforcement and fire departments in the coming weeks.

Unmanned drones have already been used to fight wildfires in Western states in recent years, with the aircraft used to monitor hot spots, assess damage and track the movement of fires. Earlier this year, drones were used to help gauge safety at a dangerous fire at a Connecticut quarry that housed explosives for a blasting company.

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