The Bellevue Fire Department is taking a page out of the military handbook by soon using a remote control drone to fly over hazardous situations.
If you want to buy a remote controlled aircraft you would just walk into a store and buy one and start flying, but for cities and corporations it’s not that easy. Want to play with one just go to HobbyTown USA and Kerry Kremke will hook you up. “They range in price. Everything you need is in one box. Some of the bigger models have cameras in them with high def video."
The Bellevue Fire Department has a much larger model and it cost more than $25,000. It purchased the drone to save time and to keep people safe when it flies over to check out hazardous waste spills or hazardous situations.
For now, the Bellevue drone is grounded. Since the device is owned by the city it is in the same category as a predator drone used by the military and people who use them have to be trained.
“We have to attend some training, mostly to learn how to operate it, how to fly it properly,” said Bellevue Fire Battalion Chief Kurt Strachota. “There’s quite a bit of operation with the camera and computer system that controls these controlling devices."
The $25,000 to buy the Bellevue drone was provided by a government grant. BFD officials hope to put the drone to work by October 1st.