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May 31, 2014

Garvin County to use drone for emergency response

OKLAHOMA CITY — Garvin County in south-central Oklahoma is set to become the first public agency in the state to purchase and use an unmanned aerial system— commonly known as a drone — for firefighting and other emergency situations.

County commissioners this week approved the purchase of the $2,300 small aerial device that’s equipped with a camera to help firefighters and other emergency responders.

Garvin County Emergency Management director Bud Ramming says the department is still in the process of writing policies and procedures but it should be operational within the next few weeks.

Oklahoma State University aerospace engineering professor Jamie Jacobs says he believes every county will eventually use an unmanned aerial system for emergency response, especially those counties in rural areas and without other air support.

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