Elgin police, fire set to use drones for rescues, searches and investigations

A short video made by Elgin Police Department members with a drone shows not only the beauty of the Fox River but also how a drone with a camera can be used by police officers and firefighters in emergency situations.

The video was shown at Wednesday’s City Council meeting as officials from both public safety departments discussed policy and procedure they are putting in place for the new equipment.

In December the fire department purchased a practice drone and one that can be used in the field with a sophisticated forward-looking infrared camera system. The camera cost $9,000 and the two drones a combined $3,000, Fire Chief Dave Schmidt said. The drones will be shared by the two departments and kept at a fire station.

The demonstration video showed how the drone with camera could be used on a water rescue, particularly at the Kimball Street dam.