Madison County Rescue Squad using new drone streaming technology

Published: Jul. 10, 2019 at 11:20 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Madison County rescue team has eyes in the sky, which can now be seen from everywhere.

The squad has a fleet of six drones which, when attached to the Kittyhawk drone software, can be live-streamed on any device anywhere.

Madison Country Rescue Squad Deputy Director Chad Tillman said the tool it delivers critical information to first responders faster and improves inter-agency communication.

“It was a no-brainer. I can now stand and have someone who is miles and miles watching what we’re doing in real time and being able to provide subject matter input on what’s going on,” he said.

He said in six months the software has seen 30 hours of flight time, translating roughly to 20 missions.

“A couple of kayakers were lost on the river, we did not know where to go to look for them, we were able to put one of the drones up in the air and immediately there they were,” he said.

He's now working to help other agencies get the same tools, and be smart about it.

“We’re seeing agencies and groups go out and spend large amounts of money on a drone before they have a program in place,” Tillman said.

Morgan County Rescue Chief Danny Kelso said his team doesn’t have a drone, but calls in agencies that do when needed.

"Whatever available resources that we can reach out to our other agencies in our county, outside our county, there's a thing with mutual aid, we're going to reach out to them and ask for that mutual aid."

Tillman is hosting a seminar for local first responder agencies to educate them on the available drone technology in August.

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