Grand Rapids Fire Department requesting $16,000 for drones, training

GRFD requests drones

GRAND RAIPIDS, MICH. - The Grand Rapids Fire Department would like to add drones to their assortment of firefighting and lifesaving tools.

Leaders say the unmanned aerial vehicles could be useful fighting some fires, finding victims in hazmat situations and locating targets during a water rescue. Tuesday night they presented their reasons to the Grand Rapids City Commission.

“I’m sure there will be some uses we are not even familiar with yet," said Fire Chief John Lehman. “This is not a tool that will be utilized on a daily basis. This is something that is a unique tool for a unique situation.”

The fire department is asking the city for $16,000 to buy drones and equipment and train staff. The city commission is expected to decide at their meeting September 12.

“They will be helping save lives,” suggested Commissioner Ruth Kelly. “Including the lives of our fire personnel.”

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