LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — The Clark County Fire Department will be the first public-safety agency in Nevada to use drones as a tool.
The department this week officially received its license to fly from the FAA.
Clark County Fire will work in tandem with the Desert Research Institute and a Henderson company called Praxis Aerospace to deploy drones to any number of incidents.
Clark County Fire Chief Gregory Cassell says this will help without putting our people in harm's way, without risk of falling or risk of chemicals or exposure to unknown toxins, it's a good thing for us.
In addition to the safety of personnel, access and visibility will be the other primary benefits, and offering a bird's eye view of scenes like a hotel fire or brush fire.
"We can look at placards on the side of vehicles, what kind of containers are tipped over, are they leaking, what do the plumes look like. For fires, we'll be able to fly it around large fires, wildland fires, and some limited search and rescue opportunities to get into places where maybe a human or full-size aircraft can't get into," said Cassell.
Also, as drones become more commonplace in public safety, and laws are better defined, authorities believe hobbyists will have no choice but to respect airspace in emergency situations.
The Clark County Fire Department still hasn't received the drones. Cassell says the official launch of the program is still a couple months away.