tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
AP Florida

The next firefighting and rescue tool: drones

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) In the future, the buzzing sounds of drones could be synonymous with the emergency sirens of fire trucks in on Florida county if the fire chief gets his way.

The Orlando Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/2oTpkbq) Orange County Fire Rescue took its first step toward using unmanned aircraft in its work. County commissioners approved the local fire department's request to apply for authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to use drones.

Fire officials say the drones can attach to a variety of tools including cameras, infrared cameras and portable defibrillators.

The drones they would use weigh less than 55 pounds and have a range of about 4 miles. They can fly at speeds between 40 and 60 mph and have a battery life of about 25 to 30 minutes.

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