Southern Pine Fire Department launches drone program

The Southern Pines Fire Department has implemented an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or Drone Program to assist with emergency response.  

Innovative technology has always played an important role in the fire service. For several years, one of those tools optimizing service delivery is drones or Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS’s). A drone can assist a fire department in many ways, such as searching for missing persons, structure fires, water rescues, woods fires, and the ability to reach remote areas not easily accessible.

Drone’s many practical purposes can give the incident commander a unique view of an incident and provides additional situational awareness. The digital images and videos can also be used for fire investigations, after-action critiques, and training.

The department’s new drone is equipped with a 640 x 512 high-resolution radiometric thermal camera with a 16x zoom and a 48MP color visual camera with a 32x zoom. Additionally, it is equipped with an attachable spotlight, speaker, strobe.

The drones will be operated by department personnel certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as Remote Pilots.

For more information on drones or (UAS’s), visit:  or


Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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