Bay Minette Fire Department wins new drone through national donation

Baldwin County

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) – The Bay Minette Fire Department has a new tool thanks to a donation.

The department was one of nine entities to receive a drone kit through the National Public Safety Drone Donation Program. The drone was donated through AUTEL Robotics. Bay Minette Fire Department now has four FAA 107 licensed drone pilots and will plan to add four 4 more in the coming year to ensure that each shift has at least two pilots available.

Fire Chief Mike Minchew said the drone will be used for a number of missions within the department and will provide real-time data and photos of the layout of buildings when needed during emergencies. The drone will also be used on Hazardous Materials calls to help identify materials involved, wildland fires, missing persons cases and fire scene investigations.

“The sky is the limit to what the department will be able to use this equipment,” Minchew said. “We would like to thank National Public Safety Drone Donation Program and AUTEL Robotics for the equipment that will make our department and community safer.”

Department personnel who are currently licensed drone pilots include Chris Phillippi, Steven Stewart, Bobby Dolan and Hunter Smith.

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