West Sussex County Council has become one of the first council’s in the country to invest in a drone to benefit its work.
The drone will be used by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service as well as for wider council use.
Members of the fire and rescue service’s Technical Rescue Unit will use the device to scout out locations, such as heath fires.
The aerial perspective from the drone will help the unit co-ordinate resources on the ground. It also has thermal imaging so can be used at night.
There is also wide scope for use of the drone across wider council activities including surveying buildings, for example to check roofing, bridge inspections and potentially for use in other community work.
Council Leader Louise Goldsmith said: “I’m really excited we have bought this new equipment to expand on the really fantastic work our fire and rescue service does. I know by investing in these pieces of equipment they will help save lives.
“There are also some really exciting opportunities for us to use the drone across the council and we are one of the first local authorities to have invested in one. I look forward to seeing it in action.”
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has also taken delivery of a new 32m aerial ladder platform (ALP), which will be used at a variety of fire and rescue incidents. The vehicle, which came in substantially under budget at a cost of £610,000, will be based at Horsham Fire Station. It replaces one that has been in service for 18 years. The service has a second ALP based at Worthing Fire Station.