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Brownsville Fire Dept. Uses Drone to Assess Blaze near Olmito

4 years 3 days 22 hours ago Wednesday, January 11 2017 Jan 11, 2017 January 11, 2017 9:18 PM January 11, 2017 in News

NEAR OLMITO – Fire crews are using new technology to help extinguish a fire that continues to burn near Olmito.

The Brownsville Fire Department said drones are giving their crews a unique perspective. The unmanned aerial vehicles are growing in popularity, especially among responding agencies.

Brownsville firefighter Desi Tristan is the person that sends a drone up in the air while fire crews battle the blaze.

“We’re one of the few that has a licensed drone pilot or a certified drone pilot with the FAA,” he said.

Trsitan said, when necessary, he’ll launch the drone as soon as he arrives on scene.

“It gives us a big perspective over the incident and how bad the incident is and where we need to focus our resources right away,” he said. “We were able to call other agencies to come in and help us with water tanker apparatus. So, it cuts down and saves so much time.”

Tristan said not having access to views from drones would hinder the work his fellow firefighters are doing on the ground.

“It would take us longer to assess the actual dangers of the fire, where it’s headed towards and getting those important resources out here to help the citizens,” he said.

The firefighter said the next step is to train more firefighters to use the life-saving technology.

A skeleton crew is currently watching over the fire to make sure gusty winds don’t ignite any hot spots. 

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