Public sees FD’s new drone camera at fest

Hundreds of people got a preview of the Cosumnes Fire Department’s latest high-tech tool on Oct. 7, while they watched people race giant pumpkin boats across Strauss Lake.

Cosumnes Fire Engineer Brian Flynn used a remote control attached to an Apple iPad while he piloted a drone over the water. This buzzing aircraft carried a small camera that captured video footage of the race at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival.

Flynn told the Citizen that plans are to use the drone camera next year to help firefighters get an aerial view of emergency scenes such as grass fires, structure fires, and hazardous materials leaks.

“The uses of it are limitless to your imagination,” he said.

He mentioned last year’s floods in the rural Franklin area where drivers were stranded in the waters. Drone cameras could have aided their rescue.

“They couldn’t see the road signs and so they didn’t know exactly where they were,”

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