It’s been a collaborative effort to get the drone program up and running, and Franklin County towns will benefit directly from the program operated by Greenfield.
Greenfield’s Police and Fire Departments launched an emergency services drone program in September. Drones will be used for search and rescue missions as well as locating fires.
“Fortunately, we haven’t had to use it within the last 30 days,” said Greenfield Fire Chief Robert Strahan. “But, when the time comes and it will come, it’ll be an invaluable resource.”
Chief Strahan said the city received a $14,000 federal grant to purchase the larger drone, which Shelburne, Buckland, Conway, and Monroe all contributed funds to as well.
It can take up to three people to legally and properly operate a drone, which is why they need more licensed pilots.
There are five drone operators, two from the police department and two from the fire department as well as Chief Strahan. But as of now, there are three licensed operators, two firefighters, and one police officer.
Lieutenant William Gordon of the Greenfield Police Department told 22News, “This will be a manpower saver. On a field that would normally take three, four, five police officers to cover in an area that might be 15 minutes or half an hour of searching a field or wooded area we could put a drone up and see it within a matter of minutes.”
Chief Strahan said the drones will be used strictly for emergency services.
Never for surveillance.