Manlius Fire Department Gets FAA Drone License

MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – The Manlius Fire Department appears to be the very first fire department in Onondaga County to get a FAA drone operators license.

Chief Brad Pinsky says the UAV is quickly becoming a vital tool in their emergency responses.

“We think its a life saving tool both for firefighters, for residents, for people who are lost in the woods, for any type of incident where you need a quick an eye in the sky, or the ability to put even a thermal imaging camera 200 feet in the air.” Pinsky tells NewsChannel 9.

He’s already used it at the scene of a house fire giving him a birds eye view so he could assess how best to attack these flames while keeping his firefighters safe.

They also used the video later as a training tool and assessment of how they tackled this fire.

Pinsky says it came in handy on a grassfire call, “We had the opportunity to fly the drone about a half mile out long before the fire trucks and firefighters could even get there. ¬†We located the fire immediately saving time so it didn’t spread, we were able to hover in and see what resources we would need.”

The department is now looking for a State grant to help them buy a slightly larger drone that would be able to carry a thermal imaging camera. [Click for More]