OSAGE—Mitchell County Emergency Services purchased a drone this month for the county’s emergency responders to use.
“It’s another asset we can utilize now,” Mitchell County Sheriff Greg Beaver said.
Beaver said the sheriff’s office could use the drone for aerial views as it investigates traffic accidents, as well as search and rescue.
Though it has not been used yet, Capt. Kris Olson of the Osage Fire Department said he’s confident it could be used at any time.
The drone, which has removable propellers, is easy to assemble for quick use in an emergency situation.
“It kind of looks like an overgrown insect,” Olson said, laughing.
It is stored in a large, black case. Its batteries are rechargeable and its video display can be shown on a smart phone or tablet.
“It’s user-friendly,” Olson said. “We’re still learning.”
Drone operators must have an FAA drone pilot license, so Beaver said the county can only fly based on what state law requires.
Olson is one of three designated emergency responders with the licensing and training to operate the drone. A St. Ansgar firefighter and a Mitchell County deputy will be able to fly the drone as well.
Olson believes the drone is a great tool for emergency responders in Mitchell County.