Fire-fighting drones: New York Fire Dep’t will deploy drones to scope out fires - TomoNews

NEW YORK CITY — New York’s fire department will have a new set of eyes and ears atop the city in the weeks to come. The NYFD is currently testing out drones to help firefighters on the ground get a better look at how to fight fires before sending in humans. 

The $85,000 drones, painted fire-engine red, weigh roughly eight pounds. The drones can move in the up and down directions, and can toggle 360 degrees to adjust viewpoint. They will each have a 200-foot tether attached so to prevent it from getting stuck. From high up in the sky, they can capture both standard video and infrared images, which are then transmitted to a portable command center on the ground, so firefighters can see what they’re up against. 

It takes two firefighters to operate each drone—a pilot to man the controls, and an observer to keep the area clear. The first drone will be deployed in the coming weeks, followed by two more before the end of the year.

The idea to send out drones was hatched after the deadly 2014 gas explosion in East Harlem, when an amateur drone operator flew his drone in to help firefighters get pictures of the damaged site.

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