Champaign Fire Department Will Begin Utilizing Unmanned Aerial Systems in Emergency Response

The Champaign Fire Department continually explores better solutions to provide the best performance and service to our community. Advancements in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) has provided a new opportunity to provide lifesaving information during emergency operations including hazardous materials response, natural disasters, water/ice rescues, large fires and live fire training exercises.

Champaign Fire Department is sending 8 firefighters to Parkland College where they will receive pilot training and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification. Pilots will then be required to participate in hands-on training prior to use during actual emergencies.

Horizon Hobby will be donating two drones to the Champaign Fire Department on Friday, September 8th. This generous donation will help kick-start the Champaign Fire Department’s UAS program. Champaign Fire Department hopes to begin using its UAS program on actual emergencies by January 2018.

Media Contact:  Randy Smith, Deputy Fire Marshal  |  Phone:  (217) 403-7212  |  Cell:  (217) 840-9434