Commercial Drones PilotsToledo students train fire fighters to fly drones

November 6, 2021by helo-10
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – For some, drones are a fun hobby. But as emergency services in our area look for new ways to keep first responders and the public safe, some young people in our community are helping the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department incorporate this technology.

Jack Hunter, the principal of the Aerospace and Natural Science Academy of Toledo (ANSAT) tells us, “We’ve been working on a partnership between the Toledo Fire Department and Toledo Public Schools, and we have a wonderful opportunity where we’re actually training firefighters on drone technology.”

The students and staff aren’t just teaching the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department how to fly the drones, but also how to make the most of the equipment to help save lives.

“One of the things that we’re showing them is the benefits of using drones versus manned aircraft,” stated Principal Hunter. “So we’re gonna be able to show Toledo Fire how they can use thermal imaging to detect where hotspots are in burning buildings.”

Zevulun Collins, a student at ANSAT, elaborated on some of the other potential uses of drones: “If a kid gets lost in the forest, or an animal is hurt we can find them. Also for agriculture, you can spray crops with the drone.”

While the firefighters are learning how to incorporate drones into their line of work, the students are also going through training to eventually become certified commercial drone pilots themselves. The partnership allows the academy to refine the program for future students by working with real-world issues, such as reducing the time it takes to get eyes in the sky during an emergency.

“If you need to search an area very quickly, contacting somebody that can fly, getting the plane pre-flighted and getting it up, we’re talking an hour or so,” said Pvt. Sterling Rahe of the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department. “You can literally come in with a small drone and get one of these drones up in the air in five minutes or less.”

Reporting in Westwinds Metropark, Derek Witt, 13abc action news.

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Copyright 2021 WTVG. All rights reserved.



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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.

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