FDNY uses drone for first time to help battle a fire

FDNY(NEW YORK) -- The FDNY has used a drone to help fight a fire for the first time, officials said Tuesday.

When a four-alarm fire broke out in the Bronx on Monday night, firefighters used an $85,000 drone to scope out the scene and a live feed of the operation to the command post, fire department officials said.

“We were able to get a good view of the roof, which allowed the Incident Commander on the ground to view the Firefighters as they were conducting roof operations, venting the roof and putting water on the fire," Timothy Herlocker, director of the FDNY Operations Center, said in a statement Tuesday.

Footage taken from the drone shows several firefighters on the roof of the building spraying water on various hot spots emerging from the floor below.

When the roof of the six-story building began to fail, the use of the drone enabled the chief on the ground to make better tactical decisions to put out the fire while keeping the firefighters safe, FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Dan Donoghue said in a statement.

The 8-pound drone "can stay aloft for as long as necessary to keep an aerial view on the target," the FDNY said in its statement. It is piloted by specially trained firefighters from the department's Command Tactical Unit, which currently has three drones at its disposal.

The fire department works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure the drones operate safely and adheres to all New York City rules and policies for airspace, according to the FDNY. Approval from the FAA takes about 10 minutes, according to the FDNY.

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