Southside public safety officials go through drone training

Published: Jul. 28, 2017 at 4:38 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

More drone training is happening in our area to help officers and live saving crews do their jobs better.

Drones are becoming more popular, and soon agencies on the southside will use them to save lives.

The Danville Life Saving Crew and Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office have spent the week studying how to fly the aircraft and the last two days they've actually been flying them.

They say it's not as easy as it looks.

Students have spent 40 hours this week to learn how to safely fly the aircraft through the Piedmont Virginia Community College.

The goal? To save lives.

"It's just another tool in our tool box to help serve our community," says Pittsylvania County Sheriff, Mike Taylor.

Public Safety officials say having a bird's eye view will help in any emergency.

"If we can find a lost child, or someone who's walked away from home, maybe a dementia patient, alzheimers patient, or someone who is just lost," says Taylor.

"When we go out on a call it'll help to have the aerial view so we'll know if we have to put in a boat, or divers, or rescue personnel in the water to kind of make it safer for us as far as getting out there and looking for people," says Sgt. David Fox of the Danville Life Saving Crew.

The Life Saving Crew says they've had calls in the past, even as recently as this week, that a drone would have been helpful for.

"We were looking for a gentleman and it would've been very beneficial to have an aerial view to help search for this person," says Fox.

First responders say drones will help speed up the process of getting aid to those who need it.

"We can provide a rapid response and cut that time down until we find them and get them the medical help, in many instances. We count that as a success," says Taylor.

Five individuals have taken the training this week. In the next 30 days they will have to complete a written test with the Federal Aviation Administration to become certified.

Then, the agencies will look into what drone will best suit their needs.