Washington state's Spokane Fire Department to add fourth UAS to its fleet



According to The Drive, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) in Washington state is preparing to welcome a fourth UAS to its fleet of unmanned aerial systems, as a part of the SFD’s UAS program.

Currently, the SFD has three UAS that cost approximately $1,150 each, but the latest UAS will cost more than those three UAS combined, with a price tag of $9,000.

Including the costs of the actual UAS themselves, the SFD has spent approximately $28,000 so far on various UAS-related items such as cameras, batteries, and accessories, according to City spokesman Brian Coddington.

Since the implementation of the UAS program last year, the SFD has used its UAS for only a handful of emergencies, but the manager of the UAS program, Lt. Todd Powell, is a strong believer in the technology and its ability to protect firefighters by establishing a scene before sending them out to the area in question.

“The whole point of the drone program is so we have another way to collect information to make more informed decisions,” Powell says.

Ten firefighters are trained and licensed by the FAA to operate the UAS.

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